Borj-Nord Musuem – Housed in a 16th Century Fortress

If you’re planning to visit Fez during your trip to Morocco, you should definitely schedule some time for a visit to the Borj-Nord Museum. This interesting museum seems to be an almost forgotten tribute to the past, with many visitors and locals neglecting to visit it. Nevertheless it is immensely interesting and provides interesting insight into the military history and traditions of Morocco through a variety of excellent collections that have been donated to the museum.

The Borj-Nord Museum in Morocco is hard to miss since it is housed in a 16th century fortress that towers above the city, its stark walls clearly visible over quite a distance. The fortress was once a northern tower that formed part of the walled fortifications that surrounded Fez in times gone by. It was built in 1582 at the command of Saadian Sultan Ahmed El Mansour Eddahbi as part of efforts to ensure that Fez was adequately protected. No better location for the museum could have been chosen since the building itself is a testimony to the evolution of military warfare and architecture. Inside the tower you will find the Borj-Nord weapons museum. Here you will find weapons from virtually every age and corner of the country. The majority of the collection has been donated by royalty and as a result, there are even a number of rare pieces included in the displays. Overall, there are more than 5000 different arms in the collection which include 775 military items. All these articles are displayed in a serious of 13 different rooms and collections include everything from pre-historic weaponry to modern day rifles. The collection is also not limited to only Moroccan artifacts and includes Indian, European and Asian articles.

The most outstanding portion of the museum simply has to be the Moroccan weaponry, which is not only dangerous, but decorative too. Daggers are encrusted with precious stones and rifle butts are carefully shaped and inlaid with jewels. These articles are so beautifully decorated that they hold appeal for art lovers too. The largest piece in the collection is a cannon that was used during the Battle of the Three Kings (Battle of the Wadi Al-makhazin). This massive weapon is five meters long and weighs a whopping 12 tons! The fortress that houses the Borj-Nord Museum has been recently restored and the collection is excellent. So give this great museum a visit the next time you’re in Fez. You won’t regret it.

back to Museums