Who wants to visit an abandoned school? Ben Youssef Medersa never made it onto our list of “places to visit” in Marrakech. However, when we visited the Museum of Marrakech we had the option to pay a nominal amount to add on a visit to the college, abandoned in 1960. Since the cost was so little and because it was only a few meters down the lane, we decided, why not? A very good move on our part as it was the highlight of our day and a photographer’s dream.
The college was founded in the 14th century and the building dates back to the 16th century. Small rooms off the courtyard housed up to 900 students with one communal bathroom to take care of everyone’s needs.
The medersa fell out of favor and closed in 1960, only to be restored years later and reopened in 1982.
The Museum of Marrakech was nearby. Our interest in its building far outweighed our interest in the artwork that it had on display. We spent time in the grand courtyard, enjoying the tile work, enormous central lamp, and building details.
We walked to the quiet and unpretentious Museum of Photography, located very near our riad.
We all liked ones of already familiar landmarks in Marrakech. The old photos of Morocco captured a different time, especially the portraits.
So, who wants to visit an abandoned school and wander around old historic buildings? WE DO!