Nothing conveys magical mystery like a mansion with seven giant, bronze doors, and the impossibility of ever truly seeing what lies beyond them. Such is the case with Fez’s Royal Palace, or Dar el Makhzen, which spans 80 hectares of presumably glorious land, and teases outsiders with a dazzling façade complete with arched doorways framed by shimmering tiles and carved cedar-wood detailing.
As its name implies, this is a palace for the Moroccan royals, who stay here when they’re in Fez. Behind the 17th-century mansion’s inviting-but-always-closed doors are apparently more palaces along with acres upon acres of gardens. Even if visitors can’t enter, though, the exterior alone is worth a look - by day or night, since, come nightfall, its walls light up in a golden glow. There’s more to discover in this part of Fez, too, as it is located in the more modern Fez el Jdid, or New Fez, and next to the Jewish quarter, called the Mellah.
The interior may not be the only image that must live on in your imagination; take special note that in some cases photos of the façade are even forbidden, a rule that can be strictly enforced by palace guards.