There is a glass floor that exposes the ocean below and the roof over the central part can be opened up . Other modern features are the electric doors and a heated floor. The whole construction was built to also withstand earthquakes. If you wish to visit the Mosque you will need to telephone and book as it is only open to Muslims. There are hour long guided tours which depart at specific times.
The Mosque was opened in 1993. It was designed by a French architect, Michel Pinseau who employed 35,000 craftsmen to work on the project. It was however King Hassan II who requested its location. The construction is made up of carved stucco as well as Zellij tile work. Inside the mosque the cedar ceiling has marble, onyx and travertine cladding – almost all of the materials were from Morocco. There is a Womens Gallery which is hidden from view and up two mezzanines. It can hold up to 5,000 women.
The Hassan II Mosque is really outstanding, not only its appearance and the architecture but its location as well. Reported to be the 2nd largest religious building in the world, the mosque can cater for 25,000 worshippers in the prayer hall. The courtyard can hold another 80,000 people. The construction cost around 800,000 million and were raised entirely from the public.
In the historical context
THE HASSAN II MOSQUE does not convey to us only the movement, the interpretation and the strong and striking voice of a worship dedicated to The Almighty; it at the same time breathes into us the incarnation of its message today, of the ardent desire to have its call heard by the entire Mankind in the full extent of its authenticity, of its magnificence, of its gratitude and of its passion to understand others, -in its humanism and its tolerance. The Hassan II Mosque is part of the tradition of religious monuments, in the phases of their history, in the quest of the architectural art it consecrates by bringing it to the heights of fame, by renewing it, by adapting it to the means that enable it to get free from the impact and stamp of the cities of another age. The first monumental mosques date back to the Omeyyade era. Abd al-MaIik ordered the construction between 688 and 692 of the Dome of the Rock (Qubbat as-Sakhra), which is, along with Masjid al-Aqsâ, one of the most famous Islamic monuments.
It opens the way to great architectural achievements Of an Islam, deeply urban but continental. The reconstruction of The Grand Mosque of Madinah between 705 and 710, and the founding, between 706 and 715 of the Grand Mosque of Damascus are attributed to his son al-Walid. The Grand Mosque of Damascus, whose transverse naves are separated by lines of two-level arches parallel to the qibla wall and crossed in their middle by a central nave, is the prototype of the mosques of the Muslim west. This layout characterizes the pattern called `medinian`. It will gain widespread acceptance and will even bring its impact to the Qarawiyyîne Mosque of Fez. In the Muslim west, the Grand Mosque of Kairouan is considered as the ancestor of all the mosques in the Maghreb. The Kairouan mosque, founded by 'Oqba ben Nâfi', demolished and then reconstructed at the end of the VIIth century, was enlarged in the second half of the VIIIth century by Caliph Hicham, then refurbished by Ziyâdat Allah before going through a last extension during the IXth century.
The layout of the naves directed in depth, perpendicular to the qibla wall, a layout called 'basilical' and already adopted by the al-Aqsâ Mosque, will be reproduced and perpetuated in the mosques of IFriqiya, Spain and Other parts of the Maghreb. The second monumental mosque of the Muslim West is the Grand Mosque of Cordoba, the dean of the mosques of Spain. Edified by 'Abd al-Rahmân I in 785-786, it was enlarged successively by Abd al-Rahmân II in 833, by al-Hakam in 961 and finally by al-Mansour in 987. This building that its founder, who was keen on reproducing in Andalusia the splendor of the Omeyyad Caliphate, wanted to construct on the pattern Of the Grand Mosque of Damascus, is, more than the Kairouan mosque, the prototype of all the Arab-Andalusian monumental mosques, mainly those of Saragossa and Toledo. Besides, it provide a catalogue of the ornamental designs that the art of the following centuries will reproduce in Morocco. It was in the IXth century, and more precisely in 859, that the two Moroccan monumental mosques were constructed: The qarawiyyîne Mosque and the Andalous Mosque. The Qarawiyyîne Mosque, wich has since the start outshone its sister mosque, witnessed several extensions in 956 and 1135 under the reign of the Almoravids. Its transverse naves layouts breaks with the layout of other Almoravid shrines in the Maghreb: The Grand Mosque of Tlemcen(1136) and the Grand Mosque of Algiers (1096) for example.
This recently built mosque is the ?second/third largest mosque in the world. The minaret is the highest of all. It is very difficult to try and describe how monumental this mosque is. Also, I don’t think that photos could really give an idea of its size. It is very impressive, located on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. It is built on reclaimed land, almost half of the surface of the mosque lies over the Atlantic water.
It must have been very expensive – that is quite clear.
The Mosque is most probably one of the highlights of a visit to Casablanca.
The Hassan II Mosque was built in a peninsula and the bulk of the mosque extends into the ocean. The building started 1987 and it took 6 years to complete. The mosque is open for prayers 5 times daily and it can accommodate 25,000 persons The outside prayer area can hold 80,000 people
If you are a non Muslim you can still visit the inside for 50 DH. This is one of few mosques that non Muslims can visit in Morocco. A guided tour operates 9am, 10 am, 11am, and 2pm at cost of Dh120. The tour can be provided in various languages.
The mosque had an opening ceremony attended by the king him self on August 30, 1993. It was designed by the French architect, Michel Pinseau. It took 2,500 men working two shifts to complete this mosque in time. The Mosque was funded by Moroccan people who donated generously. Needless to say Moroccan had mixed reviews as the total cost was an estimated US$ 750,000,000
the complex, which is 90000 sq. metres in size, has a public library, a Koranic school, rooms of ablutions and a 2 Moroccan Hammams for women and men. There is a very big underground car Garage too
The Mosque has a glass floor showing the sea below and a retractable roof It has heated floors, electric doors and it is supposedly has an earthquake resistant structure. The Minaret the 200+ meters with a laser on top to indicates the direction to Mecca. The mosque is a master piece and a showcase for Moroccan architecture with nothing but the best Moroccan art.
If you leave the Mosque and walk towards town -away from the sea- and beyond the library you come across an area with a large sign (The Royal Blvd). This area is among the poor Neighborhoods but it is poised for major development. You will see house demolished and there is a gradual plan to relocate people to newer suburbs of the city.
Hassan II Mosque, the true highlight of Casablanca, despite it being a new mosque. A true masterpiece of Islamic architecture, designed by a French architect... who would have thought it possible?
This impressive mosque was built for the 60th birthday of former Moroccan king Hassan II. It's the mosque of superlatives: it is the largest religious monument in the world after Mecca, it can host 25,000 people inside and 80,000 outside and it has the tallest in the world (210 metres high).
Anyway it's impossible to find words to describe the perfect beauty of this mosque, one has to see it with his/her own eyes - for me it's the top new mosque I have had the chance to see.
In the old 50's sci-fi movie "The Mole Men" a siren sounds and all the humans go into a trance and walk toward and into the temple/entrance. Being near the Hassan II Mosque on Friday afternoon is a very similar experience - The call to prayer begins and, from all directions, the people are drawn to the mosque. In the movie the people became food for the Mole Men, I don't know what happens to them in Casablanca as we gringos aren't allowed in.
The mosque is open at certain hours only [see earlier tip]. First you must remove your shoes, and then let your eyes adjust to the darkness, because in spite of the chandeliers and light from the windows, it is a great contrast to outside.
Moslems who enter usually make for the mihrab [the niche indicating the direction to which worshippers face to pray]and do a couple of rakas [bows and prayers] as it is one of the special mosques.
Wander around on the beautiful carpets and admire the decorated pillars , and the ceiling. As all decoration is abstract, there are no 'pictures' to distract the worshippers when praying.
It's the biggest minarett in the world, the mosque is certainly one of the most modern, even though not all Moroccans would go for it. It has been a plan of the King of Morocco, who wanted to give the city a proper main attraction for tourists. The Mosque Hassan II. certainly is with its fountains and beautiful ornaments.
The fee for tourists is ridiculously high (20 Euros, about 25 dollars). For no church in any other country I can think of paying such a fee...it destroys much of its beauty.
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