Glass floor over the Atlantic, retractable roof, and the largest minaret in the world, what is it?
Glass Floor Over the Atlantic, Retractable Roof, and the Largest Minaret in the World, What is it?
Yes, it is a mosque, but which one? It’s no other than the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco. It is just in northwest Africa. Kind of far for me, but I was able to do a layover to take pictures in Morocco in 2013. Today I’m sharing with you some of these pictures.
And just as a cultural note, a mosque is a religious worship place for Muslims. While many Christians go to a church, Muslims go to a mosque. Muslims pray in the mosque, but there are also sermons, recitations, and lessons. In many cases the mosques are also a community center for several activities such as festivals or simpler things like gatherings of two or more people.
Where is the Hassan II Mosque? Check it out on the map below.
So what’s special about the Hassan II Mosque? Some interesting facts are that it is built on both, land and sea, it has a part where a glass floor is right above the ocean, and there is a retractable roof. This roof has a hydraulic system to open it and contemplate the stars on a clear night. Its minaret (or Islamic tower) is the tallest in the world and it is equipped with a laser beam that reaches 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) pointing towards Mecca. And Muslims pray facing towards Mecca, which they consider the center of the universe. And what else? Well, let me show it to you picture by picture.The Hassan II Mosque is one of the largest mosques in the world. Allegedly the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris would fit in the prayer hall. That is something I would like someone to explain it to me because I don’t have the exact interior measures of the mosque to verify it. Even so, it is big. And depending who you talk to, you will hear different statements. Thus, you can find those who will tell you that it is the second, third, sixth, or seventh largest mosque in the world. The largest mosque is the al-Haram Mosque in Mecca.
Non-official sources say that there are 56 glass chandeliers imported from Murano (small islands 1.5 kilometers or 0.9 miles north of Venice, Italy.
In fact, if you would like to know more about this type of art, I’m sharing a 5m 26s YouTube video here for you. There you will see Moroccan craftsmen making zellige tilework. Amazing.
Nowadays the Hassan II Mosque is part of the Moroccan national pride. Its construction took seven years beginning in 1986 and ending in 1993.
And this is how it ends this tour. What do you think? Is there anything that has caught your attention? I invite you to see another architectonic jewel, the Roman Colosseum. It was precisely a week before traveling to Casablanca when I was in Rome taking pictures of this amphitheater.
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Credits: Pictures taken by Jesús Rosas
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