I knew I wanted to visit Medersa Ben Youssef even before we had arrived in Marrakech. One of the staff members at the riad also mentioned it, marking it on the map she handed to us, as a ‘must visit’. No arguments from me. With my sprained and sore ankle, I did my best old lady impression, slowly and gingerly perambulating my way there. (All I needed was a walking stick, seriously!)
My notes from the day we visited read something along the lines of “whenever I visit places like this, it makes me feel (realise) that we are all the same in our aspirations towards learning and being good citizens of the world – bettering ourselves through knowledge…” I was thinking also of universities and libraries and other places we build in the name of education, I guess. The learning at the Medersa was theological in its focus, but religious or secular, the thirst for knowledge is the same. I’m not religious at all, but I felt a deep respect for the Medersa and its reason for being – a school first, now a museum and historical monument, and its contribution to of life in Marrakech. I have read that the madrasa at the height of its time housed as many as 800 or 900 student boys. If those walls could talk! I found myself wondering what their lives must’ve been like in those 16th century days, in the surrounds of this Moorish-style architectural beauty.
We stayed for quite a while here, enjoying the quiet ambience of the place.
Entry to Medersa Ben Youssef was MAD 50.