Bab Guissa

Fès, Morocco

Bab Guissa

Bab Guissa or Bab Gisa (Arabic: باب الكيسة‎) is the main northwestern gate of Fes el Bali, the old walled city of Fes, Morocco.

A gate by this name had existed in this part of the city walls since at least the 11th century. That gate was named after a Zenata emir, 'Ajisa, who dominated the early city of al-'Aliya (on the Qarawiyyin quarter of Fes), in rivalry with his brother, el-Fetouh, who dominated the city of Madinat Fas (now the Andalous quarter) on the opposite shore of the river and who probably gave his name to another gate, Bab Ftouh. The two brothers were in power between 1059 and 1061 and both were likely responsible for building these gates, meaning Bab Guissa must have been built during these years. Soon after, the two cities were definitively joined into a single city with a single set of walls by the Almoravids, who conquered the city in 1069. These walls were destroyed in 1145 by the Almohad conqueror Abd al-Mu'min and then rebuilt by one of his successors, Muhammad al-Nasir, in 1212. The current gate is believed to date essentially from Muhammad al-Nasir's construction, making it one of the oldest preserved gates in the city along with Bab Mahrouk (also from the same period). Nonetheless, after the Almohads, the gate was restored by the Marinid sultan Abu Yusuf Ya'qub in the 13th century and was repaired or rebuilt in the 18th century after the destruction of the 1755 earthquake.

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