Feb 8, 2008

City Icons—Casablanca Morocco

Casablanca’s icon is state of the art and a relatively new addition to the city’s landscape. Opened in 1993 to commemorate the former king’s 60th birthday the Hassan II Mosque has a retractable roof and a heated floor.

Designed by French architect Michele Pinseau it is the third largest mosque in the world. The interior can hold up to 25,000 worshippers.

The cost to build it was approximately half a billion dollars, which was funded privately. No detail was overlooked. A spa like hammam (public bath) offers a resort like atmosphere. When I was there last year the hammam was not open for use due to an ongoing management dispute.

Unlike most Islamic houses of worship non-Muslims are allowed inside although you must take a guided tour. Four of them run daily Monday-Thursday. They last about an hour and the first starts at 9 a.m.

You can read more of the City Icons Series here.


Xander said...

What an amazingly beautiful building- it's interesting how mosques from one part of the world and another appear so different from one another. -X

Anonymous said...

I am about to 'escape to New York' and so feel very attached to your blog...maybe because we are both travellers...maybe because your passion for a world full of such wonderful countries shines through and I never know where your next post will take me.
I look forward to reading more. I have something for you...Enjoy!

Wendy said...

It is just as gorgeous on the inside. You are right, the look varies in different parts of the world. I'm a fan of Islamic architecture in general.

Bella Mocha,
Thank you for such kind words. I'm glad you found your way here and are on your way to NY. Travellers are kindred spirits. Hope you have a great trip and a pleasant journey.