Médersa Ben Youssef

The History of the Madrasa Ben Youssef

A historically exceptional building and a eloquent witness to traditional art and architecture.

The Ben Youssef Medersa, an architectural treasure nestled in the heart of the ancient Medina of Marrakech, resonates with the echo of a glorious past and embodies an invaluable historical significance. It transports visitors to a fascinating era where art, knowledge, and culture flourished. The medersa was erected by Sultan Abdullah Al-Ghaleb Assaadi between the years 1564 and 1565 and remained for four centuries a bastion for scholars, a goal and a destination for students eager for knowledge in various disciplines, especially religious ones.

The Ben Youssef Medersa has been an intellectual hub in Morocco for centuries. Students from distant horizons converged on this prestigious institution to deepen their knowledge in religious sciences, philosophy, medicine, and mathematics.

Upon crossing the threshold, the architectural splendor of the Medersa enchants. Refined Zellige tiles with sumptuous geometric and floral motifs adorn the walls, bearing witness to the accomplished art of the time.

The intricately carved cedar wood doors and ceilings reveal artistic precision in every detail. The central courtyard, a masterpiece in its own right, captivates with its soothing serenity.

Bordered by galleries with elegant architecture, this meeting place was the vibrant heart of exchanges between students, teachers, and thinkers, fostering the sharing of knowledge and ideas. The student rooms, modest yet functional, evoke the humility of the apprentice-scholars of yesteryears. Arranged around the courtyard, these compact spaces provided students with an environment conducive to study and meditation. Beyond its architectural magnificence, the Ben Youssef Medersa embodies the cultural and religious history of Morocco. Witness to the intellectual fervor of its time, it attracted scholars and thinkers from the Muslim world. It was the cradle of eminent scholars whose contributions left a precious legacy in their respective fields.

Today, the Ben Youssef Medersa transcends the status of a historic monument. It becomes a source of pride and identity for the Moroccan people, celebrating a deeply rooted intellectual and spiritual heritage that continues to inspire generations by fostering intercultural dialogue and perpetuating the legacy of Arab-Muslim civilization.

By visiting this iconic place, travelers are invited on a journey through time, to immerse themselves in a captivating history, and to feel the spiritual serenity emanating from its walls. The Ben Youssef Medersa, guardian of knowledge and guardian of history, continues to shine brightly, inviting the world to discover the greatness of Moroccan civilization and the vastness of Morocco's cultural heritage.

Medersa Ben Youssef