Medina Chronicles part 2 – The Koutoubia

kotoubia marrakech

Each week, we will tell you the story of a specific area in Marrakesh. We will go back in time to tell you how this place used to be. Today, we take you on a little historic tour to make you discover the famous mosque in Marrakesh, the Koutoubia. Located in the center of the city, the Koutoubia continues to amaze the tourists and the locals. Begin your visit with a good meal here, at NOMAD, a restaurant in the heart of the Medina. Then walk through the medina for a 15 minutes walk and you’re there! 


Once built by the Almoravides, the Koutoubia used to be a big mosque. This beautiful mosque, the most important in Marrakesh, is a Hispano-Moorish art masterpiece. The architecture of the minaret, which is the most decorated part, is actually representative of the art of the Almohad dynasty. It was built later, by Sultan Abdelmoumen, who start building the tour into a 77 meters tower. It was then completed by Sultan Yacoub el-Mansour. The mosque has the vastest prayer room in the country and can gather until 20 thousand worshippers. 


Many tourists who visit Marrakesh make a stop at the Koutoubia to admire its architecture. The Koutoubia, which overlooks the city, is often chosen to be a focal point to meet or to start a tour in the medina. Because of its beauty, this monument has inspired other buildings, such as the Giralda in Seville and the Hassan Tower in Rabat. The Koutoubia is also called the “Booksellers’ Mosque” because it was erected on a former souk where manuscripts were sold. Even if the Koutoubia is only open to Muslims, you can still admire the work of the different dynasties who made this mosque, the most famous in Marrakesh.