Medersa El Attarine

Islamic Site in Medina

Image by Susanna Wyatt Getty Images

This medersa (school for study of the Quran) is currently closed for repairs until at least 2020. Founded by Abu Said in 1325 in the heart of the medina, the Attarine was designed as an annexe to the nearby Kairaouine. The central courtyard displays the traditional patterns of Merenid artisanship, with magnificent zellige (colourful geometric mosaic tilework), carved plaster and cedar wood. Onyx columns flank the mihrab (niche indicating the direction of Mecca).