The Ben Youssef madrasa was established in the 14th century, but rebuilt about 200 years later. A madrasa was provided for everything from learning quarters to dorms. While a walk around the madrasa will lead to many interesting parts, the courtyard is the main attraction.
With a strong influence of Moorish Spain, perhaps even help form Spanish architects, the courtyard is a tasteful combination of intricate forms and styles. The decorations are made from several types of materials: stucco, marble, mosaic and cedar wood. Some of the finest examples of wood and stucco works in Morocco is right here.
Adjoined to the madrasa is a mosque, bearing the same name. It predates the madrasa, dating back to the 12th century. It has been very important to the emergence of Marrakech, since much of the city grew up around it after its founding. Its minaret rises 40 metres high and is very typical to Morocco.
Ben Youssef, the marabout who named the mosque and later the madrasa, was a leper famous in his time for his strong faith.