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Mule moving goods through the car-free Medina in Fes, Morocco

A medina quarter (Arabic: المدينة القديمةal-madīnah al-qadīmah "the old city") is a distinct city section found in a number of North African and Maltese cities. A medina is typically walled, with many narrow and maze-like streets.[1] The word "medina" (Arabic: مدينةmadīnah) itself simply means "city" or "town" in modern-day Arabic, it cognates with Aramaic-Hebrew word (also "medina") referring to a city or populated area.



Medina quarters often contain historical fountains, palaces, mosques, and sometimes churches.

Because of the very narrow streets, medinas are generally free from car traffic, and in some cases even motorcycle and bicycle traffic. The streets can be less than a metre wide. This makes them unique among highly populated urban centres. The Medina of Fes, or Fes el Bali, is considered one of the largest car-free urban areas in the world.[2]


Medina in Tripoli, Libya
Medina in Tangier, Morocco




  • Mdina, Malta, has medina-like features from its past Arab rulers



Locations of ruined medinasEdit


  1. ^ "Medina definition". Oxford English Dictionary.
  2. ^ "7 car-free cities". Mother Nature Network.

External linksEdit