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Photographer's Note

A couple of monthes ago I posted a photo of the courtyard of this medersa. This time I present you a student's room, which has a window to that courtyard.

The following text is a copy from the notes of that earlier post.

Medersa (aka medrassa) is a koranic (theological) school and this one functioned until 1960. It was the larger medersa in the Maghreb (all North Africa West of the Nile) and it's said that in occasions it housed more than 1000 students (some mention 1500, but the more common number mentioned is 900).

Ben Youssef Medersa was founded in the 14th century, but what is seen today is the result of the major reconstruction done in the 16th century. One of the most interesting and beautiful aspects of the building is the stucco work and carved cedar wood on some of the walls, namely on the courtyard, where every little piece of the wall is intricately decorated, in a style much influenced by the art of Islamic Andalucia (Southern Spain). I fact, many parts are nearly copies of some parts of the fabled Alhambra palaces, in Granada and it's believed that many architects and workers that built the place were Muslim Andalucians that fled from Spain or their descendants (Granada, the last Muslim possession in Spain, was conquered in the 15th century and most of the Muslim people that didn't fled to North Africa before or just after the conquest did it on the following years).

Other sources state that the style has more influences from the Merinide period (Merinides were a dynasty that ruled in actual Morocco from 13th to the 15th century), but as in that period the influence of the Andaluzian art workers was already very strong in Morocco, there is no real contradiction between the two claims.

Web links to more info: Igougo, Lexicorient, Wikipedia.

Location (latitude, longitude): 31.632,-7.9865

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Additional Photos by Jose Pires (stego) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4422 W: 612 N: 7301] (24132)
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