Place Seffarine (Seffarine Square), Fes

Place Seffarine (Seffarine Square), Fes

Place Seffarine (Seffarine Square; also spelled Saffarin) is a small square in the medina (old city) of Fes. It is located on the south side of the Qarawiyyin Mosque, close to the Bou Khrareb River which runs through the heart of the medina. The square dates back to the Middle Ages but has also undergone renovations in modern times.

The square was historically the main souq (market) of the city's coppersmiths, who gave the square its name. They are still present today. Their workshops have been established here since at least the 16th century, when Leo Africanus noted their presence. The Saffarin Madrasa, whose entrance is on this square, was built here in 1271 CE by the Marinid sultan Abu Yusuf Ya'qub and is the oldest purpose-built madrasa in Morocco.

It is still in use today and was most recently renovated in the late 2010s. The Qarawiyyin library on the northwest side of the square was first built here in the late 16th century by Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur, although the Qarawiyyin had an earlier library built further north in 1349 by Abu Inan. The Saffarin Hammam also dates to the 14th century during the Marinid era.

The square underwent a significant set of renovations in the 1930s and 1940s during the French protectorate period due to a request by the manager of the habous (endowments) of the Qarawiyyin, as well as on the initiatives of King Mohammed V. This program of restorations, which affected many of the surrounding buildings and boutiques, has given the square much of its present-day appearance.

In the process, the library of the Qarawiyyin was significantly expanded and was reopened in 1949 in its current form seen today. The Madrasa Mohammadia, an annex to the Saffarin Madrasa added in the 18th century, was also significantly renovated and expanded at this time. More recently, in the 2010s, several of the surrounding structures were again renovated, including the two madrasas (Saffarin and Mohammadia) and the Qarawiyyin library. The Saffarin Hammam was also recently undergoing restoration, under the supervision of architect Rachid Halaoui, as part of an Austrian-led project to restore various historic hammams across the Mediterranean region.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

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Place Seffarine (Seffarine Square) on Map

Sight Name: Place Seffarine (Seffarine Square)
Sight Location: Fes, Morocco (See walking tours in Fes)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Fes, Morocco

Create Your Own Walk in Fes

Create Your Own Walk in Fes

Creating your own self-guided walk in Fes 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.
Fes Old Town Walking Tour

Fes Old Town Walking Tour

North and west of the fabled Atlas Mountains of North Africa is the ancient city of Fes, or Fez. It is centered on the Fes River.

In the year 789 Idris I founded the city and the Idrisid dynasty. The city was two settlements on either side of the river. In the 11th century, Sultan Yusuf ibn Tashfin established Almoravid rule. He united the settlements into Fes el-Bali. The Almoravids were...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Fes New Town Walking Tour

Fes New Town Walking Tour

Created by the French in the early 20th century, Ville Nouvelle (New Town) is a relatively modern central district of Fez. A far cry from the sensory overload provided by the old Medina, this neighborhood was originally designed to accommodate foreigners and affluent Moroccans only.

Still, Fez's Ville Nouvelle is as much 'real' Morocco as any donkey-packed lane in the old city....  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles