Chouara Tannery

●   # Rank

Chouara Tannery, alternatively spelled Chouwara, stands as one of Fez's three tanneries in Morocco. As the largest and most ancient tannery in the city, it resides within Fes el Bali, the oldest medina quarter, close to the Saffarin Madrasa and alongside the Oued Fes (also known as the Oued Bou Khrareb).

Throughout the city's history, the tannery has maintained its traditional methods, dating back to the early centuries, and continues to operate in the same manner. Presently, the tanning industry has become a prominent tourist attraction, drawing visitors to observe the bustling tanneries filled with round stone vessels containing dyes or white liquids used for softening hides.

The leather goods produced in these tanneries are highly regarded and exported worldwide.

How to explore Chouara Tannery?

Exploring Chouara Tannery in Fez, Morocco can be a fascinating experience, where you can witness the traditional tanning process. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to explore Chouara Tannery:

  • Plan your visit:

If possible, allow yourself enough time to thoroughly explore the tannery. Depending on your interest and the size of your group, allocate at least 1-2 hours for the visit.

  • Time your visit:

Early in the morning, when the air is cooler and the tannery workers are busy, is the ideal time to visit. This is when you can witness the tanning process in full swing. However, keep in mind that there may be a lot of other tourists around.

  • Dress appropriately:

The tannery can be quite pungent due to the chemicals used in the tanning process. Wear comfortable clothing that you don't mind getting a bit smelly. Also, consider wearing closed-toe shoes as you might walk on uneven surfaces.

  • Guided tour or on your own:

You have two options for exploring the tannery. You can visit independently, which allows you to move at your own pace and take photos freely. Alternatively, you can join a guided tour. Guides can provide valuable insights into the tanning process and the history of the tannery.

  • Respect the workers:

Keep in mind that Chouara Tannery is a working area, and people here are trying to earn a living. Be respectful of the workers and their workspace. Avoid getting in their way or interfering with their work.

  • Buy mint sprigs:

Upon arrival, you might be offered mint sprigs to hold under your nose to help with the strong odor. If you wish to use them, it's a good idea to buy them from a local vendor as a gesture of support.

  • Observe from different viewpoints:

The tannery is often observed from the balconies or terraces of surrounding leather shops. These viewpoints offer a great vantage point to see the tannery from above and take photos without intruding on the workers' space.

  • Learn about the tanning process:

Take the time to understand the tanning process and the different steps involved. Tannery workers might explain some aspects of their work, or your tour guide can offer insights into this ancient craft.

  • Shop for leather goods:

After your tour, you can browse the leather goods available for sale in the nearby shops. Fez is known for its high-quality leather products, and buying something as a souvenir can be a wonderful way to support the local artisans.

  • Be cautious with photography:

While it is generally acceptable to take pictures, be considerate of the workers' privacy and get their consent before taking up-close pictures of them.

  • imageDuration Required
    1 hour

Address of Chouara Tannery

21 Rue chouara, Fès, Morocco

Opening & Closing time of Chouara Tannery

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday