If you’ve always wanted to go to Morocco, but haven’t made the trip just yet, you’ve got all the more reason to plan a vacation now. Even if you’ve been before — this news makes the destination worthy of a return visit.
The oldest library in the world, situated in Fez, Morocco, is set to reopen in 2017. According to The Guardian, restoration of the Khizanat al-Qarawiyyin began in 2012. It was originally set to open by summer 2016. Now, the hope is that it will be open by the new year.
Bustle explains that before restoration began, there was a threat to the ancient books housed there due to the level of moisture in the building. In an effort to protect the library’s collection, architect Aziza Chaouni headed up the restoration efforts. The library’s collection of books is vast and even includes a 9th century version of the Koran.
The library was founded in 859 by Fatima al-Fihri. She was the daughter of a wealthy merchant from Tunisia’s Kairouan, The Gurardian reports. At the same time the library was founded, the groundwork for a complex that would house the library along with a mosque and university began. That university (pictured below) became the oldest higher-education institution in the world.
As you can see, there’s a lot of history here, and you’re not going to want to miss out on the experience of visiting the world’s oldest library. So, better book a flight to Fez. A world of culture awaits you.