Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech

Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech (must see)

Editor's note: The building is currently being refurbished and will probably reopen to the public in 2019/2020 (no date has been announced yet); however, the museum attached to the Madrasa is open.
************

You will find the Ali ben Youssef Madrasa in the medina district of Marrakech and you shouldn’t miss a trip to visit this important building. Madrasa means “centre of learning” and can be ascribed to a school, a college or a university – in this case the building served as an Islamic college where students came to learn and study the Koran.

The Ali ben Youssef Madrasa was named after the Almoravid Sultan who reigned between 1106 and 1142. It was founded in the 14th century and rebuilt in the 16th century during the Saadian Dynasty. The college closed in 1960; it was restored and opened as a historical site in 1982.

One of the biggest theological colleges in North Africa, it housed up to 900 students in very cramped conditions, as there were only 130 tiny bedrooms. In these basic “cells” there was little room to lay a sleeping mat and use an area for studying and for cooking – so take plenty of photos to show your kids the next time they moan about not having enough space!

The large central courtyard is beautifully decorated in carved cedar and marble with lovely stuccowork. The tiles are laid out in geometrical patterns and bear inscriptions – mostly phrases from the Koran – as, of course, no human or animal representations are allowed. There is a big pool that served for ablutions before entering the prayer room that backs onto the courtyard.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour in Marrakech, Morocco, in the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded on iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline so no data plan is needed.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Sight Map

Sight Name: Ben Youssef Madrasa
Sight Location: Marrakech, Morocco
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: City Orientation Walk   Religious Walking Tour in Marrakech   Moroccan Architecture Tour in Marrakech   Medina Walking Tour in Marrakech  

Walking Tours in Marrakech, Morocco

Create Your Own Walk in Marrakech

Create Your Own Walk in Marrakech

Creating your own self-guided walk in Marrakech is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
North Medina Walking Tour in Marrakech

North Medina Walking Tour in Marrakech

Since 1985 the Medina of Marrakech has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk the narrow streets and discover the best of cultural, historic, and religious sights in the north part of Medina. Take the time to explore the Dar Si Said and learn about Morocco's art. And of course don't hesitate to enjoy all the souks and shops along your journey. Just take the North Medina Walking Tour in Marrakech.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
Religious Walking Tour in Marrakech

Religious Walking Tour in Marrakech

Morocco's official religion is Islam. Therefore the most numerous religious structures in Marrakech are the mosques. This tour will introduce you to the most famous of them, as well as to some historic cemeteries, koubbas, and mausoleums. Prepare yourself to learn about the history of Islam and enjoy the architecture of Marrakech's religious attractions by taking the tour below.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km
Marrakech's Palaces Tour

Marrakech's Palaces Tour

A nice activity while in Marrakech is visiting the few palaces this city possesses. Some of them, refurbished and restored, successfully function today as museums. Others, on the other hand, are slowly turning into ruins, but still have a long story to tell and spectacular architecture to amaze with. Take the Marrakech's Palaces Tour and enjoy the mystic atmosphere of these grandiose buildings.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.2 km
Unusual Marrakech

Unusual Marrakech

Most of the tour guides would introduce you to the most popular attractions, taking you on a tour to the imposing palaces, important religious sites, museums and, of course, some shopping places. However if you are looking forward to seeing a more uncommon Marrakech, this tour is just the thing you are looking for. Take this tour and discover the local traditions of a unique and unusual Marrakech.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 km
Daily Life Tour in Marrakech

Daily Life Tour in Marrakech

Marrakech is considered a living museum, including narrow streets running up and down, noisy souk with fierce bargaining,and imposing palaces with rich architecture standing right next to humble houses. This tour will take you to the most common places for a local citizen of Marrakech. It will show you where locals work, study, pray, and have fun. So do not hesitate to discover Marrakech by taking this "Daily Life" tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 km
Moroccan Architecture Tour in Marrakech

Moroccan Architecture Tour in Marrakech

No tall skyscrapers, no sophisticated giant malls, no nothing to remind of the Western architecture. This tour is all about genuine Moroccan style. Featuring the most prominent architectural sights, this tour takes you to places that will amaze you with their mystic atmosphere, traditional motifs, and majestic structures. Every single building here has its own legend. So find time to discover the best of the Marrakech's architecture by taking the self-guided tour below.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.3 km