Monthly Archives: January 2016

koutoubia mosque marrakech

Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech, Morocco

The largest mosque in Marrakech is the Koutoubia Mosque. It is located in the southwest medina quarter of Marrakesh about 200 metres west of the city’s Jemaa El Fna souq. Construction was completed during the reign of the Almohad Caliph Yaqub al-Mansur (1184–1199). It later inspired other buildings such as the Hassan Tower in Rabat.

The mosque is made of red stone and brick measuring 80 metres long and 60 metres wide. The minaret was designed to prevent any one at the top of the tower from peeking into the king’s harems. The minaret stands 77 metres high was originally covered in pink plaster but in the 1990s was removed to expose the original stone works.

When the Koutoubia mosque was built, the orientation facing Mecca was off by 5°. The solution was to build a second mosque, the present Koutoubia. The two mosques existed side by side, the first as a sort of annexe. As time passed by, the older structure fell into disrepair and eventual ruin.

koutoubia mosque marrakech

From afar, the minaret is surrounded by palm trees giving that garden feeling.

koutoubia mosque marrakech

The 77m high minaret of the Koutoubia mosque.

koutoubia mosque marrakech

Copper balls on top of the minaret that tapers upwards, a style unique to Morocco.

koutoubia mosque marrakech

A distance view of the minaret.

koutoubia mosque marrakech

Part of the Koutoubia mosque.

koutoubia mosque marrakech

Ruins of the 1st mosque next to the current.

koutoubia mosque marrakech

Whats left of the foundation of the 1st mosque.

koutoubia mosque marrakech

The Koutoubia mosque facing a fountain.

koutoubia mosque marrakech

Yet another fountain further down. To the left & right, orange trees flank the walkways.

saadian tombs, marrakech

Saadian Tombs, Marrakech, Morocco

The Saadian Tombs built-in the 16th century as a mausoleum to bury numerous Saadian rulers. It was ‘lost’ for many years until rediscovered in 1917. The mausoleum comprises the corpses of about sixty members of the Saadi Dynasty. Among the graves are those of Saadian sultan Ahmad al-Mansur and his family.

It is located at the opposite end of the Moulay El Yazid mosque’s minaret, in a cemetery that supposedly also contains several graves of Prophet Mohammad’s descendants. Outside the building there is a garden and the graves of soldiers and servants.

saadian tombs, marrakech

Moulay El Yazid mosque adjacent to the Saadian tombs. Entrance to the tombs at the opposite end of this minaret.

saadian tomb, marrakech

Another view of the minaret.

saadian tombs, marrakech

Entrance to the Saadian tombs. A narrow passage way will lead you to the Saadian tombs.

saadian tombs, marrakech

The tombs within the roofed mausoleum.

saadian tombs, marrakech

Typical Moroccan mosaic tiles decorate the floor and walls of the mausoleum.

saadian tombs, marrakech

This would probably be tombs of infants and childrens.

saadian tombs, marrakech

Tombs within a ‘room’. Could be tombs of rulers.

saadian tombs, marrakech

Tombs located at the exterior compound.

saadian tombs, marrakech

More tombs in the courtyard.

Bahia Palace

Bahia Palace, Marrakech, Morocco

The Bahia Palace, within the walls of the kasbah, was built-in the late 19th century. Meaning “brilliance”, it was intended to be the greatest palace of its time. It was designed to infuse the Islamic and Moroccan architectural styles. Attention to the privacy of the palace was employed during the architectural construction which features multiple doors preventing passers-by from seeing the interior of the palace. The construction took seven years to complete and the palace is set in a two-acre garden with rooms opening onto courtyards.

Bahia Palacc, Marakkech

Walking towards the entrance of Bahia Palace.

Bahia Palace

No doubt, we are at the right Palace.

Bahia Palace

Interior of Bahia Palace.

Bahia Palace, Marakkech

The intricate design of the ceiling.

Bahia Palace, Marakkech

Another view of the beautiful ceiling.

Bahia Palace, Marakkech

Entrance to one of the rooms in the Palace.

Bahia Palace, Marakkech

The entrance from across another room in the Palace with a small fountain in the courtyard.

Bahia Palace, Marakkech

Carved wooden doors and typical Moroccan designed mosaic.

Bahia Palace, Marakkech

Entrance to another room with a door leading to the garden courtyard the other side.

Bahia Palace, Marakkech

A rather ‘modern’ looking door.

Bahia Palace, Marakkech

Wooden carving as seen from the garden courtyard.

Bahia Palace, Marakkech

Garden courtyard with orange trees and other vegetation.