Image by Michael Marquand Getty Images
A short walk down Talaa Kebira from Bab Bou Jeloud, the Medersa Bou Inania is the finest of Fez’ theological colleges. It was built by the Merenid sultan Bou Inan between 1351 and 1357, and has been impressively restored with elaborate zellige (colourful geometric mosaic tilework) and carved plaster, beautiful cedar mashrabiyyas (lattice screens) and massive brass entrance doors. Whereas most medersas (schools for study of the Quran) just have a simple prayer hall, the Bou Inania is unusual in that it hosts a complete mosque.
The mihrab (niche facing Mecca) has a particularly fine ceiling and onyx marble columns. It’s thought that the medersa required a larger-scale mosque because there was none other nearby at the time; it includes a beautiful green-tiled minaret.