Marvel at the ornamentation of this ancient school, one of the best preserved of its kind.

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Madrasa of Salé

More beauty just across the river

Albeit the twin fortress of Rabat on the other side of the river, Salé deserves a chapter of its own. Amongst its many monuments you cannot afford to miss the Merini Madrasa which, since the fourteenth century, has remained preserved as if time had never brushed against its walls. The madrasas are centres of Islamic study, educating young Muslims in grammar, history, Islamic law and the art of Arabic calligraphy. The Madrasa of Salé, in particular, is renowned for its extraordinary ornamental beauty, reminiscent of the Moroccan-Andalusian style, whereby sculpted plaster and carved wood are interspersed with a colourful zellige mosaic. Traditional Kufic inscription adorns the entire building with Koranic verse, a stark contrast to the bare-walled cells that would house the students during their period of schooling. The madrasa itself is built around a patio, where the trickling water from the central fountain was used in the performing of ablution prior to entering the prayer hall, the ceiling of which is a marvel of cedar wood craftsmanship.

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