The mosque and madrasah Ikelane near Tineghir

2 km far from Tinghir, the mosque and madrasah Ikelane is one of must interesting monuments at southern Morocco by its history and unique architecture. It's placed into the Ksar Afanour, it was partially rebuilt in 2007 by the Afanour Association for Development and in 2014 its restoration is being completed with the financial assistance of the Hotel Tomboctou.

The structure of the Ikelane mosque and medersa partially build over a cleft and partially over a covered street of the Ksar Afanour, is singular in all Morocco and over the World. Nevertheless, the building includes the classic elements that are in the most of old mud mosques of presaharic valleys.

The ablutions hall includes a well, a room where water was warmed into a caldron, a stock of wood for fire, a space for small ablutions (hands, mouth, nose, face, arms, head, ears and foot) and some private departments for big ablutions (full shower after sexual relationship).

The praying hall includes a mihrab in the Mecca direction; a niche where is placed the mimbar (pulpit for Friday's sermon), and a big space covered with mats to pray. The roof of rosebay stems tinged with henna and khol is sustained over 24 columns and a central sky-light is crowned by a beautiful dome.

In the prayer hall, the roof of rosebay rods dyed with henna and kohl is supported by 24 pillars built in mud brick and coated in plaster.

A central skylight for lighting and ventilation of the prayer hall is crowned with a beautiful dome with four windows in all sides.

The terrace was employed for making classes and also for calling to pray, because in the old mosques of this region minarets were not usual.

Three rooms used to house students from remote villages.

Like other mosques in presaharic valleys, the Ikelane one was frequented only by men, because the women cult is done in the shrines or in the houses.

We don't know the foundation date of the Ikelane mosque. It may be very old, but  it's architectural style let us think that it has been probably rebuilt during the second half of 19th century, in the time when use of gypsum was introduced in the region.

The building had 4 different functions:

  • Mosque of the Ikelane quarter, one of the four clans that lived in the Ksar Afanour.

  • School for village children.

  • High School where were formed many Koran teachers of South Morocco.

  • Hostel for students coming from other villages.

The whole were working as school till the 1970' years and as mosque till 1998, being after abandoned. In 2005 the Afanour Association for Development asked to the municipality of Tinerhir and to its tourist sector the economic help to restore the monument. Only the Hotel Tomboctou brought the sum of 3,000 DH, which they repaired just the praying hall roof.

After, the big rains of December 2006 destroyed one wall and the half of the ablutions hall roof, wanting of maintenance. The Association found the money to rebuild the fallen part thanks to generosity of two groups of Catalan architects who visited the region in March 2007. They gave a total of 32,345 dirhams. But this amount was not sufficient to restore the facade, which is very degraded. Regarding the covered entrance, it was partially rebuilt in 2005, but it needs a more serious intervention. The reconstruction started in April 2014 with an initial budget of 10,000 DH given by Hotel Tomboctou.

Follow of works in madrasa Ikelane

March 20, 2014, the guardian of the madrasa, Mr. Addi, began to pick up on the necessary materials for restoration (earth and straw), until the turn of the water reaches the Ksar Afanour.

April 8, 2014 having arrived at the Ksar Afanour the turn of the water, Addi and two workers began to reconstruct the three pillars that were in poor condition, after dismantling them and the terrace they supported.

May 02, 2014, once completed the new pillars, Addi and his team began to cover again the entry.

May 20, 2014, the entry is completely covered. DH 10,000 provided by the hotel Tomboctou are exhausted, but the restoration of the façade will be held with a budget of 6.000 DH given half by the Guesthouse El Khorbat and half by Mr. Edi Kunz personally.

June 12, 2014 started the coating of the facade with a layer of mud and straw, after filling the most degraded parts using the same materials.


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