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MOSQUÉE DE LA KOUTOUBIA


The Koutoubia Mosque, located in Marrakesh's Djemaa el Fna Square, is a landmark and the largest mosque in Marrakesh, Morocco. The meaning of the word ‘mosque’ is the place where one bows down in a prayer. Consequentially, a mosque is center of religious life in Islam. Built during the Hispano-Moresque period, characteristic of simple yet masterful craftsmanship and luxury, The Koutoubia Mosque is argued to be most beautiful and proportioned mosque in the world.

The Koutoubia Mosque was completed under the reign of the Almohad dynasty Caliph Yaqub al-Mansur (1184-1199) and was used as model for the Giralda of Seville then for the Hassan Tower of Rabat. The name is derived from the Arabic al-Koutoubiyyin for librarian, since it used to be surrounded by sellers of manuscripts. Koutoubia Mosque, is often referred to in literature as the “bookseller’s mosque” and was named after the souk of koutoubiyyin, where sellers of manuscripts in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries laid out books and scripts on stalls on front of the original mosque.

Koutoubia Mosque is most famous for its minaret towers. Although they were originally displeasing to Muslims because they did align with Mecca and thus had to be rebuilt, their new design was so well done that many future mosque designs were modeled after the minaret by architects in the 13th and 14th century. The minaret of the Koutoubia was the model for the minaret of the Giralda mosque in Seville which in its turn has influenced thousands of church towers in Spain and Eastern Europe (the churches on the red square in Moscow), and later for many buildings throughout the United States of America (including the Manhattan Municipal Building and Russia (primarily during the Stalinist era).

MOSQUÉE DE LA KOUTOUBIA