Ben Youssef Madrasa

Marrakech, Morocco

Ben Youssef Madrasa

The Ben Youssef Madrasa (Arabic: مدرسة ابن يوسف; also transliterated as Bin Yusuf or Ibn Yusuf Madrasa) is an Islamic madrasa (college) in Marrakesh, Morocco. Functioning today as a historical site, the Ben Youssef Madrasa was the largest Islamic college in Morocco at its height. The madrasa is named after the adjacent Ben Youssef Mosque founded by the Almoravid Sultan Ali ibn Yusuf (reigned 1106-1142). The madrasa building which stands today was commissioned by the Sa'di (or Saadian) Sultan Abdallah al-Ghalib, following a style established during the earlier Marinid period.

The madrasa is named after the adjacent Ben Youssef Mosque, which was originally the main mosque of the city, founded by the Almoravid Sultan Ali ibn Yusuf (reigned 1106-1142 ad.) The first madrasa on this site was founded during the Marinid Islamic dynasty by Sultan Abu al-Hasan (ruled 1331-1348). This dynasty, known for its perpetuation of the arts and literature, ruled from 1196 to 1465 AD and was responsible for constructing many madrasas across Morocco. The current building, however, was constructed by the Saadian Sultan Abdallah al-Ghalib (reign 1557-1574 AD), a major builder of his period, and completed in 1564-65 AD (972 AH).



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