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The Medersa Ben Youssef is a former Islamic college of Moorish design dating back to the 14th century. In present day, the complex serves as a historical museum. Take a tour through the various rooms of this college and find a guide for a comprehensive overview.
Admire some of the 16th-century works of art that line the interior walls. Relax in the spacious courtyard, which is composed of an elegant blend of cedar, stucco and marble décor. Note how the carvings mostly portray mosaic patterns and petal designs, as it is discouraged in Islam to depict humans and animals. The courtyard is surrounded by the complex’s more than 100 student dorm cells.
Gaze up at the muqarnas vaulting of the ceiling and examine the Arabesque motifs of the plaster work on the walls. Inspect the intricate patterns and strapwork around the arched, wooden doors. Other artistic pieces include geometric zellige tile work and Islamic calligraphy.
Enjoy the serenity of the prayer room, where you will find an array of intriguing art. Gaze up at the traditional ceiling domes, as you wander through the museum at your own pace. The site remains fairly cool and can serve as a shelter from the scorching heat of Marrakech.
The college had a focus in the sciences and theology. It closed in 1960 and reopened as a museum in the early 1980s. It takes its name from a 12th-century sultan, who played a huge role in the development of the city. There is a small fee to enter this fascinating museum, which opens daily from morning until late afternoon.
The Medersa Ben Youssef is a little north of the historic center of Marrakech. Walk north from Jemaa el-Fna for about 10 minutes to get here. See some of the main sights in the area, including the Ben Youssef Mosque, the Marrakech Museum, the Qoubba Art Gallery and the Dar Bellarj museum.
It's worth giving yourself loads of time at Medersa Ben Youssef. Here are the top activities:
If you're looking for more options, have a look at our Marrakech things to do page.
Located in Medina, this spa riad is within a 10-minute walk of High Atlas, Dar Si Said Museum, and El Badi Palace. Bahia Palace and Jemaa el-Fnaa are also within 10 minutes.
Located in Medina, this luxury riad is within a 10-minute walk of High Atlas, Dar Si Said Museum, and Bahia Palace. Marrakesh Museum and Almoravid Koubba are also within 15 minutes.
This family-friendly Marrakech hotel is located near the airport, just steps from Avenue Mohamed VI and Menara Mall. Palais des Congres and Menara Gardens are also within 1 mi (2 km). Marrakech Central Station is 24 minutes by foot.
Located in Medina, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of High Atlas, Koutoubia Minaret, and Jemaa el-Fnaa. Almoravid Koubba and Marrakesh Museum are also within 15 minutes.
Located in Medina, this luxury riad is steps from High Atlas, Marrakesh Museum, and Ben Youssef Mosque. Almoravid Koubba and Dar Si Said Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Located in Medina, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of High Atlas and Koutoubia Minaret. Jemaa el-Fnaa and Almoravid Koubba are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Located in Medina, this riad is within a 15-minute walk of Koutoubia Minaret, Jemaa el-Fnaa, and Marrakesh Museum. Saadian Tombs and Dar Si Said Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Located in Medina, this spa riad is within a 10-minute walk of High Atlas and Koutoubia Minaret. Almoravid Koubba and Ben Youssef Mosque are also within 15 minutes.