Al-Qarawiyyin Library in Fez, Morocco
Samia Errazouki—AP/Shutterstock

Al-Qarawiyyin Library

Fez, Morocco

This 14th century library that grew from a 9th century mosque and university, founded by an heiress, Fatima al-Fihri, was once “the soul of the city,” says Fez-born architect Aziza Chaouni. Over time, however, it became something of a closed book, open only to scholars. Now, thanks to a government initiative and a restoration led by Chaouni, one of the world’s oldest libraries is accessible to both tourists and locals alike. —Merrill Fabry

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