The Koutoubia mosque was built in the 12th century under the Caliph Yaqub al-Mansur to be the crowning glory of his North African based empire, it is indeed today still the largest mosque to be found in Marrakech today. The structure stands 69 metres tall towering over the surrounding city, an impressive structure by any account. However it was during the period of imperialism under the French that it was decreed that no structure in the rest of marrakech was permitted to be taller than the Koutoubia, thereby sealing the Mosque’s place in Marrakech’s architectural history. The name of the Koutoubia derives from the Arabic for library as the mosque used to be surrounded by sellers of religious manuscripts thereby gaining the mosque literary connotations that led to it being quasi designated a library. Although the actual mosque itself does not permit non-muslims to enter a non-muslim can still observe the majesty of the mosque from the outside of the Building.

The prayer hall within the mosque is one of the largest of its kind and has the capacity to house up to 25,00 people at any one time. Adjacent to the mosque are archaeological remains of the original mosque which it is believed was rebuilt to correct its orientation to Mecca. These remains are accessible to visitors and can be seen through glazed protective cases. The fabulous Rose gardens adjacent to the Mosque are an oasis of calm in the city used by locals and tourists alike, a must for any Marrakech holiday.

Stay in one of our luxury Marrakech Riads, the perfect base to explore the ancient red city.

Marrakech Jemaa al Fnaa Map

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Marrakech is always a fun town for people watching, even more so at the moment! Hollywood is in Marrakech and the heart of the Medina is buzzing with activity for the filming of Sex And the City 2.

A few hundred yards from Riad Papillon burly security guards left us in no doubt that amateur photographers were not welcome near the set. The Paparrazi had more success as reported in some of the European press including the Daily Mail

On friday 20th November several streets to the north of the Jema al Fnaa were being used as sets with the choas created by the resulting diversions only adding to the hustle and bustle of the Medina.

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