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Marrakech | Visit to the Ben Youssef Madrasa in the medina

One of the visits that you should not miss on your trip to Marrakech in Morocco thanks to the best travel guide is the Ben Youssef Madrasa which you will find right on the northern edge of the souks of the Medina, next to the mosque by the same name, the Museum of Marrakech and Ba’Adiyn Kuba. The madrassas are educational institutions dedicated to religion that spread through the Maghreb since the thirteenth century. In the case of Ben Youssef Madrasa in Marrakech, the building dates from the sixteenth century when it was built on the site of an earlier madrassa and it is one of the most beautiful parts of Marrakech from the architectural point of view.

Ben Youssef Madrasa entrance

Ben Youssef Madrasa entrance

Ben Youssef Madrasa

Ben Youssef Madrasa

Dedicated to Koranic school at the time acquired great prestige and became accommodation for up to 900 students. On your visit to the Madrasa Ben Youssef see that the building is built around a large central courtyard with a rectangular pond. It has a single classroom which played the role of place of education and also prayer. The decor in both the playground and classroom is truly spectacular with a blend of cedar wood, marble, stucco and mosaics, typical of the Saadian Dynasty architecture. The highlight is perhaps the octagonal corner shrine which is located opposite to the entrance to the Koranic school with a finely carved cedar ceiling and stucco decorative profusion.

Ben Youssef Madrasa interior

Ben Youssef Madrasa interior

By accessing the top floor of the Ben Youssef Madrassa in Marrakech you can walk down the long corridors and courtyards which have distributed cells that housed 130 students in the Koranic school. For the decoration of some of these cells and the objects in them are exposed so you can feel the atmosphere that existed in this time in the Koranic school. Undoubtedly, the Madrasa Ben Youssef is a must visit at Marrackech.

Ben Youssef Madrasa courtyard

Ben Youssef Madrasa courtyard

Directions:

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Ben Youssef Madrasa photos: Marc, Phil ROgers, Summersound photography, Alastair Baird.

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