Located on the shores of the Atlantic ocean in the “Gateway to the Orient“, Casablanca, Kingdom of Morocco, this impressive structure towers over all others and high into the sky. Aptly named, “Le Grande Mosquée” in French this religious building is the largest Mosque in all of Morocco and the 13th largest worldwide. The minaret is the worlds tallest, 689 ft., 210 mts. At the pinnacle of the minaret a laser points towards Mecca, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the holy place of Islam.
The Mosque has a retractable roof and can hold a whooping 105 thousand worshippers at a time, 25,000 inside and the rest can be accommodated inside the Mosque’s area! That’s a lot of people folks!! The walls inside are handcrafted marble, and the entire complex spans 9 hectares or 22 acres. Located in Casablanca’s Bd Sidi Mohammad Ben Abdallah neighborhood, in which the area was torn down and the residents, relocated.
The encompassing area holds three adjacent buildings outlined in the picture above. An Islamic school, called Madrassas, a bathhouse, called hammams, and a museum which boasts Moroccan history, and the museum has a conference hall and a library in it. The area also boasts 41 fountains, a picnic area, and beautiful gardens. It’s a very beautiful location, and when I was there during the winter months, the gardens were being tended to and there was a crowd of people who flocked to the breaker walls to watch the gigantic 33 foot waves crash into the shoreline.
The Mosque was estimated to cost about 550 million Euros, and in order to pay for this, King Hassan II asked for the public to contribute and anyone who did was given a receipt and a certificate. The reason the Mosque was built half on land, the other half on reclaimed rock outcroppings from the Atlantic was due to the Qur’an stating that Allah’s kingdom is on the water. This mosque is a way to represent that in reality.
The Mosque is one of the many places to go to in Casablanca, and is unique to the region. I hope you all will take a trip to Casablanca and experience the world in a way that inspires your own adventure!