Medersa Bou Inania – Magnificent Architectural Masterpiece
Visiting the Medersa Bou Inania is a truly wonderful experience; not only because it is an architectural masterpiece, but it is not often that a religious building that is still in use is open to the public. It forms part of the Kairaounie University that is located in Fez and was founded by Sultan Abou el Hassan in the year 1350. His son, Sultan Bou Inan completed the construction of Medersa Bou Inania by 1357.
It is not easy to define which part of Medersa Bou Inania is the most magnificent, as every inch of the building seems to have been decorated in fine detail. Originally built to house theology students, the residential quarters can still be viewed on the top floor. Through the small windows of these quarters visitors will be able to look out over the courtyard. The most noticeable feature of the Medersa in Fez is the green-tile tower. In fact, the entire building’s roof is covered with green tiles and the most breathtaking examples of craftsmanship are seen in the carved cedar. Every inch has been carved by hand and by looking at the intricately detailed carvings it is safe to say that long, laborious hours of work were done to complete the interior.
Every room of the Medersa in Fez has beautifully sculpted ceilings and carved cedar beams as well as elegant marble floors. All the walls have been covered by handcrafted stuccos and even the spaces between columns have been decorated in this magnificently delicate art form. Geometrical motifs and designs and calligraphy (Arabic cursive) can also be seen. In the courtyard the ablution fountain still runs; its water supply comes directly from the Fez River. It is also home to the most elegant minaret in the city and the imam is still used for prayers. This section is usually not open to visitors, due to it being used for religious purposes.
The Medersa Bou Inania has become a popular tourist attraction in Morocco, as it is a wonderfully preserved historical site and example of Islamic architecture. The detail and intricate work done to complete this magnificent building has earned it the reputation of being the most impressive medersa in Morocco.