The college was founded during the 14th century and was closely connected to its neighbour Ben Youssef Mosque. It had seemingly fallen into disrepair as the madrasa was rebuilt by a Saadian Sultan in the mid 1550's. There is inscription in the prayer room marked 1565. There were 130 student dormitory cells around the big courtyard. Classic and era-typical carvings in cedar, marble and stucco can be seen on the building. The carvings, though beautiful, have no pictures of people or animals as required by Islam, and so you will only see inscriptions and geometric mosaic patterns.
This madrasa or school was one of the largest colleges of theology in North Africa . It is thought that up to 900 students attended at one time. After closing down in 1960, the building was refurbished and opened up as a historical site in 1982 for us all to see and enjoy.