Hassan Tower, Rabat

Hassan Tower, Rabat (must see)

Hassan Tower (or Tour Hassan) is the minaret of an incomplete mosque. It was commissioned by Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur, the third Caliph of the Almohad Caliphate, in 1195, and was intended to be the largest minaret in the world.

Strategically placed on the high south bank of the Bu Regreg river, to provide an imposing spectacle visible for miles around, the tower is made of sandstone which, over the centuries, has turned red ochre in color. It has a square floor plan, like the other minarets in the region, measuring 16 meters per side. Instead of stairs, though, the structure is ascended by ramps. This was to enable a muezzin to ride a horse to the top of the tower to issue a call to prayer.

The design was done by an architect named Jabir and is similar to that of Hassan's sister tower, Giralda, in Seville, Spain. Both of them were modeled on the minaret of yet another one of Jabir's creations, the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech.

Despite having been commissioned by Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur, the structure carries the name of "Hassan" for unknown reason. What is known is that it has been called so since the 13th century. Suggestion that it could have been the architect's first name is not substantiated.

After al-Mansour's death in 1199, the construction came to a halt. The tower only reached 44 meters, about half of its intended 86 meters height. The rest of the mosque was also left incomplete, with only the beginnings of several walls and 200 columns finished.

At the center of each of the six floors there was meant to be a vaulted chamber surrounded by ramps and lit by the horseshoe-shaped windows set into the sides of the tower. The exterior is decorated with panels of sebka patterning as well as engaged columns and capitals carved from the same sandstone as the tower itself. There is also one marble capital of Andalusi spolia.

Along with the remains of the mosque and the modern Mausoleum of Mohammed V, the Hassan Tower forms an important historical and tourist complex in Rabat.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Rabat. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Hassan Tower on Map

Sight Name: Hassan Tower
Sight Location: Rabat, Morocco (See walking tours in Rabat)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Rabat, Morocco

Create Your Own Walk in Rabat

Create Your Own Walk in Rabat

Creating your own self-guided walk in Rabat is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Rabat Introduction Walking Tour

Rabat Introduction Walking Tour

Resting on the shores of the Bouregreg River and Atlantic Ocean, the capital city of Morocco, Rabat, is known for its picturesque natural surroundings, much as for its man-made beauty manifested in a mix of old and new architecture (featuring Islamic and French-colonial styles), abundance of mosques and historic monuments. The Medina (Old City) of Rabat is a World Heritage Site.

Rabat was...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Rabat Shopping Walk

Rabat Shopping Walk

Rabat is heaven for those who love shopping. Indeed, the abundance of shopping opportunities – traditional markets and shopping streets – in this city gives no reason to doubt that. There you can find all kinds of oriental delights you can possibly think of.

One of Rabat's top shopping destinations is Consuls Street (rue des Consuls). Steeped in a 500-year history, this street houses...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles