Radisson Blu Hotel, Marrakech Carré Eden

Koutoubia Mosque

The most famous landmark in Marrakech, the Koutoubia Mosque is notable for its soaring minaret, which dominates the Medina Quarter skyline. Built by the Almohad Sultan Yacoub el Mansour in the 12th century, it provides a good reference point for other points in the city and is a must-visit destination all of its own. The minaret in particular has served as the model for many other buildings over the centuries, including Seville’s Giralda and the Hassan Tower in Rabat. The mosque derives its name from “kutubiyyin” or booksellers, because the base used to be a site for the city’s manuscript and book traders.

Attention to detail

This centuries-old building is still an active place of worship, but you can get a good view of the mosque’s features from the exterior, which can be walked around freely. The minaret stands at a height of 69 meters, and it features the 1:5 proportion typical of Almohad architecture. As you walk around the mosque, take note of its elaborately carved stonework, with each side exhibiting different patterns. There are also remnants of its original multi-colored glory preserved in the restored minaret, which was once covered in pink plaster. The Koutoubia Mosque is capped with four golden globes, with six interior rooms in the tower. It’s said that there were originally only three globes, but Yacoub el Mansour’s wife donated all of her gold jewelry to make the fourth as penance for breaking her fast during Ramadan.

A landmark to admire

Visitors who practice Islam can attend worship, with prayers held five times a day. The lofty prayer hall inside the Koutoubia Mosque Marrakech can hold up to 25,000 worshipers, and boasts a staggering interior space of 54 square meters. You can view the minaret from the Place Djema el Fna, but for the best views visit the rose garden located just to the west of the Mosque. Here you can sit and admire this excellently preserved building, a shining example of Moorish architecture.

Start or end your day with a special visit to the Marrakech Koutoubia Mosque. It’s under a ten-minute drive from our Radisson Blu Hotel Marrakech Carrè Eden, taking you to the heart of the Medina Quarter.