Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech - Stein Travel



    • 16+ years

    • 12-15 years

    • 2-11 years

    • 0-23 months


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Welcome to Koutoubia Mosque

Towering over the labyrinthine streets and markets of Marrakech is the city's principal landmark, the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque, known as the 'mosque of the booksellers' because of the bazaar of the book traders that used to be nearby. The red stone mosque was first built in 1147, but demolished and rebuilt in 1199 because it was not correctly aligned with Mecca. The mosque, basically a massive prayer hall, has 17 aisles and 112 columns, and room for thousands to pray within it. The ornately carved minbar (pulpit) is believed to have been a gift from the Almoravid Sultan Ali ben Youssef. The landmark minaret is 221ft (69m) high and consists of six chambers one atop the other, ascended by a ramp through which the muezzin ascends to the top balcony. The mosque is closed to non-Muslims, but the area around is a favourite place for an evening stroll.


Admission
Free (gardens)
Language
Arabic is the official language, but eight other languages are also spoken including Berber, French and Spanish. English is generally understood in the tourist areas, but French is the most widely spoken.
Money

The unit of currency is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD), which is divided into 100 centimes. ATMs are available in the larger towns, but can be unreliable; currency can be exchanged at banks or official bureaux de changes, which are also widespread in major towns. Dirhams cannot be obtained or exchanged outside Morocco and receipts must be retained as proof of legal currency exchange, as well as in order to re-exchange money when departing. Major credit cards are accepted in the larger shops, hotels and restaurants. Travellers cheques can be used in tourist areas, but are not prevalent; they are best taken in Euros or Pounds Stirling.


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