Madrasa al-Mu'tabiyya
Taizz, Yemen
This Islamic school in Ta'izz was commissioned during the rule of al-Ashraf II, by al-Mu'tabiya, his companion and mother of his successor. Its whitewashed façade stands out against the surrounding earth-toned settlement and mountainous terrain. Organized around a central courtyard are cells for classroom work with no quarters for residential purposes; students would have resided outside of the premises. To the north, underneath a six-domed roof that creates six covered bays, is the oratory off of which are side porches that remain exposed. The oratory features remnants of geometric frescoes and cursive inscriptions on the wall with a deeply recessed mihrab at its easternmost part. Like the madrasa's main gate, the mihrab highlights a scalloped shell dome, framed by a nine-lobed arch. It is speculated that the designer of the madrasa is the same as that of the Madrasa of al-Ashrafuyya, also in Ta'izz.


Wald, Peter. Yemen, translated by Sebastian Wormell, 171. London: Pallas Athene, 1996.

Williams, John A.. Early Islamic Architecture of the Yemen: the early Islamic period, 12-14. Santa Barbara: Visual Education, Inc., 1977.
Taizz, Yemen
Images & Videos
Associated Names
Associated Collections
1392-1393/796 AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Madrasat al-Mu'tabiyah
Madrasa al Mu'tabiyya
Building Usages