Al-Attatrine Madrsa, Fes | We Are Nomads

A visit to the former Islamic school in Fes.

I visited Fes to source crafts and meet artisans for the store earlier this year. I was struck by how different it is to Marrakech and realised I would absolutely need a tour of the city. It is quite a small medina but has many very small streets. The tour was exactly what I needed to get under the skin of this city which has such a rich storied history.

One of the first stops on my tour was the Al-Attarine Madrasa which was a former Islamic school for boys. The school was built between 1323-5 by Uthman II Abu Said who was the 10th Sultan of Morocco. The school is a must-see for anybody visiting Fes, there were tourists there but it still felt like a place of calm and I had the opportunity to take time and explore the school quietly.

The boys lucky enough to be chosen to study here were given room to board in and basic food such as bread to eat whilst studying. This was more than what most of the boys would have had, had they not attended the Islamic school. The intricate carvings were a standard feature of many madrasas, such dedication to detail rarely seen outside of religious institutions.

The colours and tones used in the Al-Attarine Madrasa in Fes are such beautiful contracts of soft pinky greys and the deep greens. The plasterwork is ancient and the carving centuries old, the architecture still feels relevant to this day. It was a joy to see up close the craftsmanship and detail in the architecture.

green zellige tiles
islamic-arches

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