Isn’t it fantastic how this tower fades into the mist of the ocean, like a ladder to another world? I asked him when we arrived in front of the tallest minaret ever built.
The few seagulls circling the invisible obstacle were the only ones suggesting there might be an end to this 210 meters minaret.
Hassan II Mosque was quiet, with few people around, an appropriate peacefulness for a place of prayer that I found soothing.
Surely it was an uncommon tranquility caused by the thick mist, considering Hassan II Mosque is not only the top-rated tourist attraction in Morocco but the country’s largest religious establishment (also the largest mosque in Africa).
It’s not the only mosque built on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, as I would later discover, but it does have the tallest minaret in the world (210 meters – Guinness World Record) and one impressive architecture.
It took 10,000 people and 7 years to build this architectural gem, and even if the mist stole some of its shine that day, its unparalleled beauty kept us there for more than an hour.
The turquoise and ivory zellige (mosaics) adorning the Moorish fountains and columns, the intricate patterns of its many doors, and the stunning geometry of the mosque made us linger to admire once again the remarkable talent behind Moroccan craftsmanship.
It’s one of the two mosques in Morocco open to people of other religious beliefs, but the tickets are sold somewhere in Casablanca and not at the entrance.
Energy depleted from the slow drive from Rabat to Casablanca, and still looking at a long drive ahead, we felt content with just sitting there for a while, taking in the beauty of this place.
Don’t know why, but whenever I get to visit a mosque, there’s this sense of calmness coming over me, everything slows down, and I can hear my breath, no thoughts to cloud it.
Out of the reverie, I begin noticing the locals gathered around Hassan II Mosque.
There’s this curly girl running in front of the majestic doors, her father right behind her, and I admire his care for the child. Few meters away, a man and his two wives cross my path and my inner voice thanks them for the photo opportunity. Many young boys sit on the floors, backs against the columns, waiting for prayer time.
And I was waiting for the mist to rise so I could take better photos, but time didn’t help matters.
The minaret remained lost into the ocean’s mist, and so my stopover in Casablanca ended here, in front of the almost mystical Hassan II Mosque.
Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca – in Photos
Tips for visiting the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca
- Schedule: Saturday to Thursday: 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 14:00, but closed during prayer times (see more on their website)
- Entrance fee: $13 / 11€
- Dress code: no shoes, covered arms, shoulders, legs.
- Tickets are not sold at the entrance but at the museum’s office nearby (Musée de la Mosquée Hassan II).