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Chouara Tannery, Fes

#2 of 29 in Shopping in Fes
Flea Market · Historic Site
Observe the completely manual process of leather dying that hasn't changed since the Middle Ages at Chouara Tannery, the largest and oldest of Fes' three tanneries. The only downside to your visit may be the stench of pigeon poop and cow urine, part of a mixture used for softening the hides. Plan my Fes trip by asking Inspirock to come up with tips and suggestions.
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Chouara Tannery reviews

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  • The tannery was interesting and because it was lunch hour and the tanners were on break and not stirring up the tanning pits it was not very smelly. the visit itself does not take a lot of time...  more »
  • We were part of an organized tour visiting a tannery. The guide took us up to the roof, where we were able to look down on the many large earthen vats used to dye the leather in any number of...  more »
  • We went with a guide to this tannery...We did not buy anything from the leather shops. It was good to go with a guide so you are not under pressure to buy things. Our Riad arranged a tour guide for us for half a day..Was good as he took us to a few places including the Tannery. You get explanation about the tannery and different leather products. Recommended
  • If you must go, go with a reputable local tour guide. The tannery is located close to the Place Saffrine, but there is no obvious signage or entrance to the tannery. It appears compulsory to visit a close-by shop to get a view of the tannery in action. While the tannery itself was impressive, the people who profit from the tannery are not. We were constantly misdirected by men stating either the tannery was “closed”, or the only way to view the tannery was by visiting a shop with a private terrace rooftop. Several men who insist they are “just helping” will lead you to a rooftop but you will be pressed to make a purchase at an affiliated store once you are finished with your viewing of the tannery. The goods in the shops are priced exorbitantly and you are expected to bargain (an experience that not everyone will enjoy). If you do not buy anything, they will turn nasty and ask for a fee ranging from 50 dirhams per person or more for their “guidance” (despite them having offered nothing more than accompanying you to the terrace in question). On more than one occasion I was rudely cursed at with the F word by these men simply for not listening to them or following them into a given shop. In summary, the site is poorly managed as a tourist destination and as a result, there exists a local ecosystem of swindlers preying and profiting on the vulnerability of tourists who want to visit this iconic site at Fes.

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