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Fez is located at , on the banks of the Fes el-Bali River, about from the Mediterranean Sea and from Marrakesh. The city has developed around two opposing settlements which grew together: Fes Jdid (meaning "New Fez") to the west and Fes el Bali ("Old Fez") to its east. They are historically attested by their Arabic names "al-Qarawiyyin" and "Fas Elbali". In modern times they are called ""Medina quarter"", or ""new medina"" for short, in reference to how they were distinct urban entities until being unified into one single city during French colonial rule in Morocco. The old walled town of Fez consists of narrow streets with tall houses that could be up five stories high with no windows facing onto an interior courtyard where people lived most activities such as cooking, washing clothes etc..