The Koutoubia Mosque is located
around 200 m (660ft) west of the jemaa el fna, which is a prominent marketplace in the city of Marrakesh. It is located on the Avenue Mohammad V opposite to the Place de Foucauld and is a must visit place for cheap holidays to morocco.
Significance of architecture
The Koutoubia Mosque, also known as the Mosque of the Booksellers, is the largest mosque in the Moroccan City of Marrakesh. Located in the south-west Medina Quarters of the City, this Mosque is characterized by its curved windows, a beautiful band of ceramic inlay, its decorative arches and pointed merlons. The Mosque also has a huge plaza with gardens which is floodlit at night time. The minaret of the mosque is 77 metres high and also includes a spire and orb.
This mosque was considered an incredible engineering feat at the time it was built back in the years 1184-1199 AD and today it is a historical masterpiece that you can witness in your morocco tour. Tourists will become astounded at the size of the minaret which inspired several other monuments such as the Giralda of Seville and also the Hassan Tower in Rabat. The tower of the Mosque is visible from the Jemaa el fna, the prime marketplace in Marrakesh but in order to get the best view, visitors are advised to go to the rose gardens to the west of the Mosque.
History of the Koutoubia Mosque
The Moroccan city of Marrakesh was captured by the Almohads after the leader of the Almoravid, Ali ibn Yousuf died in the year 1147. Abd Al Mu’min, who won over the territory, built the first Koutoubia Mosque on the former palace grounds of Ali ibn Yousuf between the years 1147-1154. The second mosque was started after 1154 and the building was partially built by 1158 and the first prayers started. The second mosque was fully completed by the 1190s under the reign of Berber Almohad Caliph Yakub al-Mansur.
The enchanting stories and their significance
The interior of the tower has a total of six rooms which are located one above the other. It also has a ramp which allows the muezzin to ride to the balcony. There are several local myths that exist about the golden globes on top of the tower. Originally, there were only three globes but Yacoub el Mansour’s wife donated the fourth globe. It is said that she had eaten three grapes during the Holy Ramadan fasting period and out of guilt, she had melted all her golden jewelry to create the fourth dome and then she donated it to the Koutoubia Mosque.
The name of the mosque also carries with it its own story. The Arabic word `al-koutoubiyyinn’ means `Librarian’. The name of the Mosque was derive from this word since back in the days, Koutoubia Mosque was always surrounded by traders who sold manuscripts and books. The prayer hall inside the mosque can accommodate a total of twenty five thousand worshippers and covers an enormous are of 54 square metres. The origin of the pulpit in the mosque is believed to be from Cordoba and it was believed to have been donated to the mosque Sultan Al Ben Youssef.