Stretching out behind the Koutoubia Mosque, this palm tree-dotted swathe of greenery is a Marrakshi favourite spot for strolling,...
Well-located bike rental geared towards those who want to rent a bike for a day to explore the medina. It also arranges 90-minute...
A Mamounia day pass provides access to Mamounia’s ozone-treated pool, historic gardens, fitness centre, three swanky bars and zellij...
Step from the red Berber carpet into the classiest gin joint in Marrakesh, with powerful long drinks (Dh70 to Dh90) delivered to leather...
In this intimate riad near Bab Laksour, 50 guests max indulge in button-popping, five-course Moroccan menus with aperitifs and wine...
Koutoubia Mosque information
Five times a day, one voice rises above the Djemaa din in the adhan ( call to prayer): that’s the muezzin calling the faithful from atop the Koutoubia Mosque minaret. Excavations confirm a longstanding Marrakshi legend: the original mosque built by Almoravid architects wasn’t properly aligned with Mecca, so the pious Almohads levelled it to build a realigned one. When the present mosque was finished by Sultan Yacoub el-Mansour in the 12th century, 100 booksellers were clustered around its base – hence the name, from kutubiyyin, or booksellers.
While the Koutoubia serves a spiritual purpose, its minaret is also a point of reference for international architecture. The 12th-century 70m-high tower is the prototype for Seville’s La Giralda and Rabat’s Le Tour Hassan, and it’s a monumental cheat sheet of Moorish ornament: scalloped keystone arches, jagged merlons (crenellations), and mathematically pleasing proportions. The minaret was sheathed in Marrakshi pink plaster, but experts opted to preserve its exposed stone in its 1990s restoration.