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Posted by on Apr 24, 2012 in Africa, Explore, Morocco, Travel Info

Casablanca and the Hassan II Mosque

Casablanca and the Hassan II Mosque

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I went to Casablanca for 1 reason: to see the stunning Hassan II Mosque. Typically non-Muslims are not allowed to enter any mosques, but this giant of a Mosque does in fact let foreigners inside, during very specific times. I had to take advantage of this. I was dying to see the inside of any Mosque – But I was dying of angst at the chance to see the inside of THIS Mosque.

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As most sacred buildings, other than those in the Catholic faith, shoes must be removed prior to entrance of the building. So they give us handy little bags to carry our shoes in and we enter.

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The interior is gigantic. It is one of the largest interiors of a sacred building I have ever experienced. It is so large you could fit either the Notre Dame Church of Paris or St.Peter’s Basilica of Rome INSIDE this Mosque!

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The ceilings stretch skyward and you can hear the echo of the small groups footsteps across the carpets. THe Minaret outside is the tallest building in Morocco and reaches the height of 210 metres.

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The Mosque shines white inside- with wood and limestone accents surrounding. Intricate and Delicate carvings in every crevice of the Mosque. The Mosque is filled with woodcarving tilework, and stucco moulding.

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All of the materials used to construct the Mosque come from different areas of Morocco; The Cedar from the Middle Atlas, the Marble from Agadir, and the Granite from Tadraoute.

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For such a spectacular place, you could image all the hard work and time required to build it. Hard work? Yes. Time? Not as much as you would think to build the 3rd largest Mosque in the world. The Mosque only took 6 years to build. 6 Years of 6000 men working 12 hour shifts, 24 hours a day.

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The main floor is covered in carpets and can hold 25,000 worshippers. Slightly up is the mezzanine floor, or wooden platforms, where the women worship. Below the main floor, and looking through glass that looks like water, are the bath areas. The fountains are in the shape of lotus’ and prior to praying each individual must cleanse their Hands, Feet, and Mouth.

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The Mosque is also home to Turkish baths. Oddly enough these baths have yet to be used since the Mosque’s opening in the 1990’s. Each year they say “Next Year” as to when the baths can open. The Baths are the only part of the Mosque which is open to the public and non-Muslim faith to come, bath, and interact with those of the Muslim faith. As usual, the male and female baths are separated.

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The Mosque is built half over the Ocean in accordance to the verse in the Koran that states that God’s throne was built upon the water. It is a beautiful place to sit and stare at the beautiful greens and designs of the exterior.

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I went to Casablanca for the sole reason to see this Mosque. I came, I saw, but I think I have to come back to stare in awe for many more hours before I can even imagine saying that I truly experienced this Mosque. There is just so much to feast your eyes on.

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Entrance is 120 Dirham ($14 CAD) and the Mosque is open at 9AM, 10AM, 11AM for guided tours in English, French, Spanish, and German at these times.

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This Mosque is truly beautiful.

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3 Comments

  1. So beautiful. I have never been inside a single mosque. I think it is time to change that.

    • You definitely should – the details are so incredible. This is my first Mosque but it certainly won’t be my last! Any plans to head to a Muslim country in the near future?

  2. this is a terrific presentation, wonderfully expressed, I must go a see while I have the chance, thank you

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