Photographer's Note

Madrassa Bin Yousuf was an Islamic college in Marrakech and was named after the amoravid sultan Ali ibn Yusuf (reigned 11061142), who expanded the city and its influence considerably.

The college was founded during the period of the Merinid (14th century) by the Merinid Sultan Abu Al-Hassan and allied to the neighboring Bin Yousuf Mosque. The building of the madrassa, as it is now, was (re-)constructed by the Saadian Sultan Abdallah al-Ghalib (15571574).

It is the largest Medrassa in all of morocco. In 1565, the works ordered by Abdallah al-Ghalib were finished, as confirmed by the inscription in the prayer room. Its 130 student dormitory cells cluster around a courtyard richly carved in cedar, marble and stucco.

The carvings contain no representation of humans or animals as required by Islam, and consist entirely of inscriptions and geometric patterns.

This madrassa was one of the largest theological colleges in North Africa and may have housed as many as 900 students. One of its best-known teachers was Mohammed El Ifrani (1670-1745).

Closed down in 1960, the building was refurbished and reopened to the public as an historical site in 1982.

Source: Wikipedia


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