Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Koutoubia Mosque - Marrakech

The minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque is 69 meters tall
If there is a trademark of Marrakech it has to be the Koutoubia Mosque. It is by far the oldest and largest mosque in the city dating back over 800 years.
The Koutoubia with the Atlas mountains in the background
It is funny to see the minarets in Marrakech, they all look alike. My idea is that most, if not all are modeled after the Koutoubia Mosque.

The Koutoubia has been the model of two famous buildings the famous  Giralda tower of the cathedral in Seville and for the Hassan Tower of Rabat, and has influenced buildings further away. Some has even claimed that from Spain, the Koutoubia has influenced thousands of church towers in Spain and Eastern Europe. Intriguing.....

The Koutoubia was built in the 12th century, during the reign of Almohad Caliph Yaqub al-Mansur. You can see the beautiful minaret from all over the city, and the view from the Djemaa el Fna square is magnificent, with palms and other trees making a green line along the road down to the tower.

Koutoubia seen from Djemaa el Fnaa
It is a pity that we are not allowed to enter, as all are closed for us infidels. I would have loved to visit the Koutoubia, as all holy buildings are so important for the culture. We had to take stroll and watch the grandness of the minaret from the outside.

It is magic to experience the Koutoubia at night when the minaret is flooded in light, and at dawn at dusk when the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer. I do not know whether the muezzin at the Koutoubia has a priority, but as one starts the songe, all the others join in. Just then you are far from Europe.

More mosques here on Enjoy Food & Travel  

Vis Marrakech on Enjoy Food & Travel 2010-2011 i et større kart

1 comment: said...

The Koutoubia Mosque is superbly preserved !!!