The Almoravid dynasty: The Almoravid Koubba

The Almoravid Koubba is the oldest building in Marrakech, constructed in 1117 it’s the only remaining example of architecture from the Almoravid Berber dynasty of which remains in the red city.

In times long gone past the space that the Koubba occupies was used for washing before prayer. At the time a then revolutionary system of hydraulics and drainage networks meant that toilets, showers and faucets for drinking water were available to all those who prayed at the Almoravid Mosque that the Koubba was once attached to.

The interior of the Almoravid Koubba is lavishly decorated. Floral patterns and calligraphy that have been etched into the walls of the structure are still in remarkably pristine condition.

As you enter the prayer room, the original architects of the Koubba have left the following message along the ceiling:

“I was created for science and prayer, by the prince of the believers, descendant of the prophet, Abdallah, most glorious of all Caliphs. Pray for him when you enter the door, so that you may fulfill your highest hopes.”

The message makes reference to Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad and the inscription is the oldest physical example of the Mahgrebi form of cursive Arabic in the entirety of North Africa.

The Almoravid is but 40 metres away from the Ben Youssef Mosque, another fascinating cultural site and a highly convenient two minute stroll from the Riad Cinnamon.