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The Koutoubia Mosque

Koutoubia is one of the most important mosques in the whole of northwest Africa (Maghreb). It was built by order of Caliph Abdul Mumin ben Ali in the latter part of the 12th century. The name applies to both the mosque and the famous minaret, which is considered by Morrocan art historians as the prototype of the regional genre. For this reason its influence has been substantial for Moroccan minarets ever since the 12th century. The distinctive style of the minaret is apparent from all vantage points in Marrakech. From here the call to prayer five times a day reaches over the city, reminding the busy modern life below of God’s eternal summons to faithfulness and righteous living. Koutoubia was a religious centre during the Almohad period (12th and 13th centuries) and a site for solemn proclamations by rulers. See the section on Sacred Spaces (pp.80) for further observations in Marrakech.

Alan Race

June 2014

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