Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca
The Hassan II Mosque or Great Mosque of Hassan is a mosque in the city of Casablanca, Morocco. It is the largest mosque in the Moroccan kingdom and the seventh in the world.
At 210 meters, its minaret is the tallest building in Morocco and the tallest minaret in the world; In its upper part, laser beams point towards Mecca, helping the faithful to position themselves more precisely during prayers. A total of 105,000 faithful can gather to pray: the prayer room can accommodate up to 25,000 faithful, while the esplanade can accommodate up to 80,000.
The construction of the great mosque of Hassan
The Hassan II Mosque, completed in 1993, was structured by the French architect Michel Pinseau and built by Bouygues. The mosque is built on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The floor is constructed of glass, allowing worshipers to see the ocean below and worship above it. The walls are built with handmade marble. The roof of the mosque is movable, allowing worshipers to see the constellations at night. Except for the imported white granite columns and Murano glass chandeliers, almost all the materials used in the construction of the mosque are Moroccan.
The historical evolution of the great mosque of Hassan
The concept of the mosque arose after the death of King Mohamed V in 1961. King Hassan II asked the best artisans in the country to submit plans for a mausoleum to honor the late king. It took 7 years to complete, with a large number of artisans and laborers working 24 hours a day. Construction was originally planned for 1989, in time for Hassan II's 60th birthday; however, construction was not completed on time, causing the opening to be postponed. The formal inauguration was scheduled for 11 Rabi' Al-Awwal de Hijra 1414, which corresponded to 30 August 1993, the eve of the anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad.
Visiting the Hassan II Mosque as a non-Muslim
Muslim visitors can enter the Hassan II Mosque for Friday prayers and daily prayers. The mosque is one of the few open to non-Muslims; however, guided tours are the only way for non-Muslims to enter the mosque, and only at certain times. These tours are conducted in English several times a day. You do not have to pay to be outside, but you do have to pay to see the interior of the Hassan II Mosque with a guide.
How to dress in the Hassan II Mosque
Women are not required to cover their hair; however, both men and women should wear clothing that covers the shoulders and chest and is long enough to hide the knees. Shorts and short-sleeved shirts are not permitted. It is also forbidden to smoke, eat or drink while visiting the mosque.
The Hassan Grand Mosque Museum
A small museum is connected to the mosque. It explains in great detail the geometric motifs and wood carvings of the mosque. Admission is free.
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