Monday, 6 April 2015

Hassan II Mosque

We took a day trip by train to Casablanca from Rabat. The big attraction is the Hassan II Mosque. It was built in 6 years by craftsmen working a 24 hour shift system and is the biggest in Africa. It can accomodate 20,000 men for prayers and 5,000 women in the gallery.

  The cost is thought to be in excess of £800 million. It is said that a third of this was from the old king's own money but then he was a ruling monarch so it's not really clear which was his money and the state's. The rest was raised by "voluntary" contributions from ordinary people all over Morocco although our friend says that there was a good injection of Saudi money as well.
The site is spectacular jutting into the sea and the scale overwhelming. To me it is very bling and rather like a modern 5star hotel. Inside it does not have the rhythm I have come to expect from mosques because they did not want to install air-conditioning which would have been noisy and so they have an opening roof to allow for ventilation. This means that the central area is free of pillars and the feeling is more of a basilica.

 They have 200 people permanently employed cleaning it and to pay for them they open it up to non-muslims for 3 tours a day, the only mosque other than the ruined Tin Mal a non-muslim can  visit in Morocco.

You may recall that after the Koranic Schools post I had Linux visitors from USA, UK, and Morocco.After this post I've have Linux visitors again but from Russia.

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