La 10ème Edition du Festival de Fès de la Culture Soufie - The Festival of Sufi Culture - opens on Saturday. One of the features of this 10th edition is the choice of venues. While the majestic Bab Makina and the beautiful garden of Jnan Sbil are familiar, the new addition is a surprise - the Madrasa Bou InaniaThe official festival opening on Saturday (14th October) takes place at 4pm in the he Madrasa Bou Inania. It will be interesting to see how it functions as a venue
The madrassa (المدرسة أبو عنانية بفاس) was founded in AD 1351–56 by Abu Inan Faris. It is widely acknowledged as an excellent example of Marinid architecture. According to history, religious leaders of the Karaouine Mosque advised Abu Inan Faris to build this madrasa. It was the last madrasa to be built by the Marinids. The madrasa became one of the most important religious institutions of Fes and Morocco, and gained the status of Grand Mosque.
The name Bou Inania (Bū ‘Ināniya
) comes from the first part of the sultan's name Abou Inan. The madrasa functioned both as an educational institute and as a congregational mosque. The unusual feature of the architecture is that the madrassa is the only in Fes with a minaret. Opposite the main doorway of the madrasa is the entrance to the dar al-wuḍūʾ
(ablutions house) for washing limbs and face before prayers. Left and right of the central court there are classrooms.
The madrasa was renovated in the 18th century. During the reign of Sultan Mulay Sliman, entire sections were reconstructed. In the 20th century, major restoration work was performed on the load-bearing structure, the plaster, wood and tiled decorations with Islamic geometric patterns.
The madrasa is one of the few religious places in Morocco that is accessible for non-Islamic visitors. Opposite the Madrasa Bou Inania is the Dar al-Magana
, a wall with a hydraulic clock that was built in conjunction to the madrasa.