The mosques of Morocco don’t always get the credit that they deserve. Turkey well-known for its mosques and Istanbul, in particular, is unanimously considered to be the city of mosques. However, Morocco has a long list of spectacular and unique mosques. Some are well known like Hassan II Mosque while others are unheard of outside Morocco, like the Great Mosque of Larache. This is your 1-stop Morocco Mosque guide.
Hassan II Mosque
We begin with the biggest and boldest of them all, Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. This mosque, completed in 1993, is humongous. It is the largest in Morocco and the 7th largest mosque in the world, with a tower that stands 210 meters high.
As it appears almost floating in the sea, Hassan II Mosque was created to be the best Mosque in Morocco. Artisans and experts were gathered from all over Morocco, sparing no expense to create a mosque that combines historical and contemporary themes. It also incorporates concepts from several other iconic mosques from across the globe.
Hassan II Mosque is really one of the most iconic mosques in Morocco and the rest of the world.
The Koutoubia Mosque, which translates as The Mosque of the Booksellers, is the hallmark of the Almohad Empire, and a famous icon in Marrakech, Morocco, to this day. It was constructed in 1158 to rival the old mosques of the previous rulers, the Almoravids, like the Ben Youssef Mosque.
The amazing Koutoubia Tower, which stands 88 meters high, was one of the tallest structures in Morocco at the time. The Koutoubia Mosque and specifically the huge tower, had later become a symbol that would be replicated on several mosques in Morocco and around the world, including the recent Hassan II Mosque, above.
Ben Youssef Mosque
An early symbol of Almoravid architecture and prestige in Marrakech, the Ben Youssef Mosque was first erected by the legendary Almoravid leader Yusuf Bin tashfin. Some say that he personally laid some of the bricks on the initial mosque project.
Ben Youssef Mosque had all the markings of an iconic Almoravid mosque and remained as a significant and influential center, even after the Almohads conquered Marrakech.
The Hassan Tower is part of an incomplete mosque project of the 12th century in Rabat. The mosque was commissioned by the then Al Mohad ruler, Abu Yusuf Yaqub Al Mansur. This ambitious project was intended to be the largest mosque in the world during that time. You might notice that the Hassan Tower also mimics the iconic Koutoubia minaret.
Sadly, construction came to a halt after the death of Al Mansur in 1199 and the mosque was never completed. All that remains are the tower, which became known as the Hassan Tower, and the dozens of unfinished columns.
The Great Mosque of Fez
The Great Mosque of Fez EL-Jdid is considered to be among the most historically significant mosques in Fez, founded in 1276, during the Marinid Sultanate. Some say that the heavy-lifting for this project was done by Christian prisoners captured in Al-Andalus (Spain).
The main tower of Minaret is beautifully decorated with iconic Morocan motifs, brickwork and elaborate mosaic tiles (zellij).
The mosque is also accompanied by the Madrasa of Fez El-Jdid, built in 1320.
The Mosque of Kairaouine
Founded in 859 by Fatima Al Fihri, this mosque is credited as being the oldest surviving mosque in Fez. In addition, it is regarded by some as the established that later became the first university in the world.
Historical accounts suggest that the mosque became a center of learning from the very beginning, which is not uncommon. Mosques were the primary source of learning at the time. There are different opinions about when the mosque transitioned into a fully fledged educational institution.
However, its historical significance is documented and accepted. Also, it is celebrated by some as an even more amazing feat because it was established by Al Fihri, who was a woman.
Tin Mal Mosque
The Tin Mal mosque, which is the highlight of the Atlas Mountain village of Tinmel, was founded in 1156 to commemorate the founder of the Almohad State, Mohamed Ibn Tumart.
Tinmel, which is regarded as the birthplace of the mighty Almohads, became a significant cultural and political center in the 12th century.
The rural setting of Tin Mal Mosque in the High Atlas makes it really unique and spectacular.
The Great Mosque of Larache
The 18th century Larache Mosque is not as famous, old and historically significant as the other mosques on this list but there’s just something about it that people love. It has a special character that draws people. Maybe it’s the unique blue and white color that makes it so unique.
It is definitely worth visiting if you find yourself in Larache.