Place Seffarine

Fès, Morocco

Place Seffarine

Place Seffarine (Seffarine Square; also spelled Saffarin) is a small square in the medina (old city) of Fes, Morocco. 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. It is adjoined by the Qarawiyyin's library to the northwest, by the Saffarin Madrasa to the east, and by the Saffarin Hammam (bathhouse) to the southwest. It is named after the coppersmiths (seffarin or saffarin; Arabic: الصفارين‎) who have had their workshops here for centuries.

The square was historically the main souq (market) of the city's coppersmiths (Arabic: الصفارين‎, romanized: saffarin), 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.: 339–340  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.: 286  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.

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