Casablanca, Hassan II Mosque
Here we are, in front of Hassan II Mosque. Please read about this building, it is fascinating. The information is from Carole French’s book Morocco.
This brainchild and crowning achievement of King Hassan II, this phenomenal building is the world’s third-largest mosque, after Mecca and Medina. It was built to commemorate the former king’s 60th birthday and opened in 1993 giving Casablanca the heart and landmark it so sorely missed.
The mosque rises above the ocean on a rocky outcrop reclaimed from the sea, taking literally the verse from the Qur’an that states that God’s throne was built upon the water. It is a vast building that can hold 25,000 worshippers within its structure and can accommodate a further 80,000 in the courtyards and squares around it.
The mosque was designed by the French architect Michel Pinseau and is topped by a soaring 210 m- tall minaret, which shines a laser beam towards Mecca by night. In addition to this high-tech call to prayer, the mosque also has a centrally heated floor, electric doors and a retractable roof.
Over 6000 traditional Moroccan artisans worked on the building over the course of its construction. The Hassan II Mosque is one of the very few Islamic religious buildings open to non-Muslims.