Kutubiyya Mosque

The Kutubiyya Mosque off Djemma al-Fanna Street in Marrakesh was built in 1158 by the Almohad ruler 'Abd al-Mu'min. It was the principal mosque of the city and its square minaret is a symbol of Marrakesh. At the time of its construction, books and reading were highly praised. Al Mu’min decided to build the mosque next to a street that was lined with 100 bookshops and libraries, hence its name.

The existing mosque is the “second” Kutubiyya Mosque, built adjacent to where a “first” Kutubiyya had stood. The latter was demolished so that in the new one, the qibla would be correctly aligned with Mecca. The plan of the mosque is a rectangular hypostyle hall with 17 aisles perpendicular to the qibla wall and a rectangular courtyard. The central aisle has 6 small domes.

The Kutubiyya's 77meter high minaret was completed in 1195 during the reign of 'Abd al-Mu'min's grandson Ya'kub al-Mansur. It is decorated with arches on all four sides which become more ornamented towards the top of the minaret.

It is one of few monuments left from the Almohad (al Muwahidun) era in North Africa.