al-Attarine Madrasa

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The al-Attarine Madrasa or Medersa al-Attarine (مدرسة العطارين) is a madrasa (Islamic center of learning) in Fes, Morocco, near the al-Qarawiyyin Mosque. It was built by the Marinid sultan Uthman II Abu Said (reigned 1310-1331 CE) in 1323-5 CE. The madrasa takes its name from the Souk al-Attarine, the spice and perfume market. It is considered one of the highest achievements of Marinid architecture due to its rich and harmonious decoration and its efficient use of limited space.

See Subject Home > Middle East > Africa > Morocco > Fez > Mosque-University of al-Qarawiyyin


Exterior Architecture

circa 859 CE

The courtyard, sahn (صَحْن), is rectangular, surrounded by the prayer hall on three sides and by a gallery to the north. The floor is paved with typical Moroccan mosaic tiles (zellij) and at the center is a fountain. From outside the mosque, the courtyard is accessed by the main northern gate, called Bab al-Ward, whose vestibule is covered by a Marinid-era white dome which is fluted on the outside and covered in painted and carved stucco on the inside. Opposite this gate, situated on the mihrab axis, is the central entrance to the interior prayer hall, guarded by a carved and painted wooden screen called the anaza which also acted as a symbolic "outdoor" or "summer" mihrab for prayers taking place in the courtyard.

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