Ben Youssef Madrasa

Address: Rue Azbezt, Marrakesh 40000, Morocco

The inscription over the entrance to Ben Youssef Madrasa reads, “You who enter my door, may your highest hopes be exceeded.” Over the past six centuries, students studied the Quran under this blessing.

Located in the north of medina (old town) of Marrakesh, the madrasa was founded in the 14th century under the Marinids. Yet, most of its existing buildings were built in the mid-16th century. Ben Youssef Madrasa was originally established to rival that in Fez, but it turned out to be two to three times bigger than the latter. It was also one of the largest theological institutes in North Africa.

The madrasa was later closed and reopened to the public as a tourist attraction in the 1980s. Entering the madrasa, you will see a typical Islamic courtyard with the famous reflection pool. Surrounding the courtyard are student dormitory cells, galleries and prayer halls. There are also elaborated mosaic decorations on the walls, floors and archways.

Note that the madrasa is closed for restoration until 2020. Please check the schedule for reopening before travelling.