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The Koutoubia Mosque is one of the remarkable architectural achievements of the Almohad dynasty in Marrakech in Morocco. The original Koutoubia Mosque was built by Abdelmoumen El Goumi, one of the Almohad dynasty caliph who ruled over the region for 33 year from 1130 till 1163AD.
The second mosque of Koutoubia was erected in 1158 in the same period when the towering minaret of Hassan was built in Rabat.
The Koutoubia Mosque is one of the most remarkable Islamic monuments in Morocco. Located in the heart of Marakesh, the Koutoubia Mosque will always stand as an evidence of the greatness of the Morocco packages and its past rulers and kings.
The name of the Koutoubia Mosque
The name Koutoubia means the writers in the Arabic language. This name was derived of the activities of the people living near the mosque as most of them were writers and calligraphers of Islamic scripts.
The Koutoubia Mosque is one of the most amazing mosques in Morocco. The surface area of the mosque is around 5300 square meters and it contains 17 suits and 11 marvelously decorated domes.
The mosque was the theatre of many important political events in the Moroccan history as the Sutlans and Kings of the region used this holy place to issue and announce important decisions. In our recent days, the mosque, with its famous minaret decorated with fabulous ceramics at its top painted in turquoise, has become the landmark of the city of Marrakech.
The Koutoubia Mosque is a huge structure that has a rectangular shape. The design of the mosque is the natural evolution of architectural art after the construction of the mosque of Taza.
The prayer hall of the mosque.
The prayer hall of the mosque is wide and contains many articrafts and domes. The first dome is located above the Mihrab of the mosque. Two domes are situated on to the left of the Mihrab and two others to its left.
There prayer hall of the Koutoubia Mosque contains 17 arcades, 6 of them have bole ceilings. Some of the arcade or arcanas of the prayer hall are linked together like the sole of the horses and they all rest on huge columns holding them.
The Koutoubia Mosque, located in the heart of the city of Marackesh in Morcco, was built after the victory of the Almohad armies over the Almoravids dynasty in Morocco in 1147AD. From this point in time on, Almohad kings and rulers have started destroying the structures and buildings erected by the Almoravids to have their own buildings in stead. This was why the Koutoubia mosque was erected on the ruins of the palace of Ali Ibn Yousef, Almoravids King who ruled over Morcco form 1107 till 1143.
The construction of the Koutoubia Mosque consisted of two stages. The first stage was when the older mosque was erected with the Qibla, or the niche indicating the direction of Mecca, constructed in the wrong direction. Most of this structure is in ruins nowadays.
The second stage of the building of the mosque is what we see today with its famous marvelously decorated towering minarets.
The prayer hall of the Koutoubia Mosque contains 17 slabs with the design that looks similar to the letter "T". This same design was popular at the time and it was implemented in many mosques in the ninth and the tenth century.
The Mihrab of the mosque
The Mihrab of the mosque is located in the middle of the Qibla wall and it consists of an open cavity in the shape of a horseshoe. There is another arch that was built above the Mihrab with a rectangular shape that has many lobes decorated with the rosettes. This style of decoration was the feature of the Islamic architecture in Spain before it was transmitted to the West in a few centuries.
Just above the Mihrab, there is an eight sided dome with many corbel decorations. This dome is considered to be one of the few examples of the Almohad architecture in Morcco.
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