Bab Ftouh

Fès, Morocco

Bab Ftouh

Bab Ftouh (also spelled Bab Fetouh) is the main southeastern gate of Fes el-Bali, the old walled city of Fes, Morocco.

The name Bab (al-)Ftouh means literally "Gate of the Opening", but historically this name (also used for Bab al-Futuh in Cairo) has been interpreted as "Gate of Conquest" or "Gate of Victory". However, the name of this gate is believed to have originated more directly with the name of a Zenata emir who was himself called al-Fetouh and who dominated the early city of Madinat Fas (now the Andalusian Quarter) from 1059 to 1061, back when Fes was still divided into two separate cities. He is said to have built the first gate in this area to go by his name.: 42  This gate replaced an earlier Idrisid gate called Bab al-Qibla (named after the fact that the gate lay in the direction of prayer, the qibla, relative to the city center). Al-Fetouh was in rivalry with his brother, 'Ajisa, who controlled the other city, al-'Aliya, on the opposite shore of the river, and who in turn gave his name to the gate known as Bab Guissa. Not long after, in 1069, the twin cities were conquered by the Almoravids and joined into one city with a single set of walls. These were destroyed in 1145 by the Almohad conqueror Abd al-Mu'min but then rebuilt by one of his successors, Muhammad al-Nasir, in 1212.

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