Established in 859 CE, Morocco’s al-Qarawiyyin Library will soon reopen to the public with architectural details for the 21st century.


Home to stacks of ancient Islamic manuscripts and intricately decorated reading rooms, the world’s oldest continuously operating library will soon reopen — and, for the first time since its founding in 859 CE, to the public. The al-Qarawiyyin Library, located in the UNESCO World Heritage Medina of Fez in Morocco, has just completed over three years of heavy restoration by Canadian-Moroccan architect Aziza Chaouni and her design firm Aziza Chaouni Projects. Established as part of the University of al-Qarawiyyin, the library for centuries was open only to students, but when it reopens — likely sometime next year — anyone will be able to enter the airy rooms with intricate mosaics and latticework and enjoy its fountain-filled more

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