Built in the 12th century during Almohad rule, the Bab al-Guissa carries the name of the governor of the city at the time. It is one of the five gates of the old Qayrawan section of the city, and one of the three central gates of the city.
The arched stone gate is topped with a narrow green tile cornice on the city side. The angular shape and the upper level terrace were designed for defense, providing those within the city with space from which to fend off enemy forces before they penetrated the city.
The current fortifications of the city date to the Almoravid era in which the old fortifications that divided Fez into two sections (Qarawiyah and Andalusiyya) were destroyed. The Almoravids united the two sections within a single fortification. Under the Almohads (r. 1130-1269), these ramparts were destroyed and then rebuilt. The Marinid sultans (r. 1196-1549) completed the fortifications and restored the gate after creating the new section of the city, Fez al-Jadid.
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Sijelmassi, Mohamed. 1991. Fes: Cite de l'Art et du Savoir. Paris: ACR Edition.