Koutoubia Mosque and Minaret, Marrakech

Koutoubia Mosque and Minaret, Marrakech (must see)

The Koutoubia Mosque and Minaret isn’t open to non-Muslims, but there is nothing to stop you from taking photos and admiring this magnificent building, especially at night when it is dramatically lit-up.

When the Almoravides founded the city in the 11th century, they built a mosque, smaller than the present one, but when they were defeated by the Almohades in 1147, the new rulers considered the mosque “unclean” and had it pulled down.

They then built their own “pure” mosque, but due to a planning error, the qiblah wall, which is supposed to be set perpendicular to a line leading to the Mecca, was badly orientated and the Mihrab was off course. Instead of simply adjusting their praying position to be facing the Mecca, the Almohades built a second, larger building alongside and the other eventually fell into ruins.

The Minaret is the oldest of the surviving Almohades towers; it is 13 meters wide and 69 meters high, with six rooms set one on top of the other. Each level is reached by ramps around the rooms.

On the minaret’s roof you will see four golden globes: according to legend, at first there were only three globes, but the wife of a Sultan broke her fast before sunset during the Ramadan and had to give up her jewels as penitence. These were melted down and became the 4th globe. The present globes are made of copper.

Why You Should Visit:
You can't miss one of Morocco's biggest mosques!

Tip:
The building should be viewed both day and night as it takes on different personalities dependant on the time of day.
Make sure that you walk around the entire mosque, as there are picturesque views all around it.
Probably wiser to avoid Friday until after 3pm-ish as there are special prayers on Friday.
Don't miss the gardens behind – perfect place for a good glass of mint tea and to watch the world go by.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour in Marrakech, Morocco, in the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded on iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline so no data plan is needed.

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Sight Map

Sight Name: Koutoubia Mosque and Minaret
Sight Location: Marrakech, Morocco
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) containing this sight: City Orientation Walk   Religious Walking Tour in Marrakech   Moroccan Architecture Tour in Marrakech   Daily Life Tour in Marrakech  

Walking Tours in Marrakech, Morocco

Create Your Own Walk in Marrakech

Create Your Own Walk in Marrakech

Creating your own self-guided walk in Marrakech 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.
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Also known as "The Red City", Marrakech is an out-of-the-ordinary getaway which combines the old historic atmosphere of Medina with a lively modern tourist sights of Gueliz. Take this orientation walk and discover the most popular attractions Marrakech has to offer, as listed below.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 km
Unusual Marrakech

Unusual Marrakech

Most of the tour guides would introduce you to the most popular attractions, taking you on a tour to the imposing palaces, important religious sites, museums and, of course, some shopping places. However if you are looking forward to seeing a more uncommon Marrakech, this tour is just the thing you are looking for. Take this tour and discover the local traditions of a unique and unusual Marrakech.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 km
Marrakech Museum Walking Tour

Marrakech Museum Walking Tour

The museums of Marrakech amaze with most surprising revelations of local traditions, history, and culture. But it is not only the collections exhibited there that make this tour a unique experience. It is also the architecture of the buildings and the fascinating atmosphere of past times. And even though Marrakech is not exactly the city of the museums, it is definitely worth a visit to the existing ones by taking the Marrakech Museum Walking Tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Cultural Walking Tour in Marrakech

Cultural Walking Tour in Marrakech

One of the first things your thirsty, adventurous mind starts wondering about when arriving in a new city is the culture of its people, especially when the city you're in is Marrakech. Everything here seems unique and authentic, blending together traditional African style and European influences. Take the tour below and enjoy the best of Marrakech's culture.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
Marrakech: Gueliz Walking Tour

Marrakech: Gueliz Walking Tour

Gueliz, otherwise known as the New City (Nouvelle Ville), is more like the downtown of Marrakech. Here you will definitely feel the western influence: McDonald's, KFC, brand stores, and even a supermarket. However Gueliz is also famous for its galleries and parks. Find what are the things that make Gueliz unique by taking the tour below.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 km
Marrakech for Kids

Marrakech for Kids

Marrakech is a great travel destination for families with kids. Not only it will be an interesting cultural experience, the little tourists also will benefit from joyful and fun activities. Magicians, snake charmers, and camel rides will certainly impress your child. Take the tour below and delight yourself and your beloved children with the best attractions for kids in Marrakech.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.8 km