La Mosquée Hassan II (Hassan II Mosque) is a modern mosque in Casablanca, Morocco – the largest mosque in Morocco and one of the largest in the world (those in Mecca and Medina are the largest in the world). As many as 10,000 craftsmen from across Morocco labored over 50 million man-hours to build the mosque, conceived by French architect Michel Pinseau and built by the civil engineering group Bouygues. It was completed in 1993.
The minaret, 60 stories high — 210 metres (690 feet) — is the tallest religious structure (and minaret) in the world. It is topped by a laser, the light from which is directed at night to the east, towards Mecca. “The minaret is said to enhance the visual alignment of the boulevard. It is square in shape thrusting skyward. The base to the top width ratio of 1 to 8 (between basement and the summit) has a marble covering on the exterior with austere decoration. The faces of the facade have carved ornamentation with different materials. There are stitches of roudani tracetine on a 100,000 MP surface. This decorative material (with chrome and green as dominant colours), is a substitute for the use of bricks, the material used in many other notable minarets, and has given the mosque an extraordinary elegance. Green tiles decorate the minaret for one third of the height from the top, and then changes colour to deep green or tourquoise blue; it is said that in the Hassan II minaret, the designer had used his sea-foam green and God’s blue to celebrate the life of a king.” — Wikipedia
The mosque stands on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic Ocean, the sea bed being visible through the glass floor of the building’s hall. The walls are of hand-crafted marble and the roof is retractable. A maximum of 105,000 worshipers can gather together for prayer: 25,000 inside the mosque hall and another 80,000 on the mosque’s outside grounds. Inside, the mosque has separate areas for worship by men and women – 20,000 men on the main floor of the prayer hall and 5,000 women upstairs.
“The prayer hall is on the ground floor. The central hall is centrally heated, and provides spectacular underwater views of the Atlantic Ocean. The decorations in the hall are elaborate and exquisite made possible by involving 6000 master artisans of Morocco working on it. It is so large that it can easily accommodate the house of the Notre Dame of Paris or St. Peter’s of Rome. The woodcarvings, the zeliij work and the stucco mouldings are of elaborate and highly impressive design; the wood used for carving is cedar from the middle Atlas mountains, the marble is from Agadir and granite is brought from Tafraoute.” — Wikipedia
“The historical context of the mosque began with the death of King Mohammed V in 1961. King Hassan II had requested for the best of the country’s artisans to come forward and submit plans for a mausoleum to honour the departed king; it should ‘reflect the fervor and veneration with which this illustrious man was regarded.’ In 1980, during his birthday celebrations, Hassan II had made his ambitions very clear for creating a single landmark monument in Casablanca by stating:
I wish Casablanca to be endowed with a large, fine building of which it can be proud until the end of time … I want to build this mosque on the water, because God’s throne is on the water. Therefore, the faithful who go there to pray, to praise the creator on firm soil, can contemplate God’s sky and ocean.
The building was commissioned by King Hassan II to be the most ambitious structure ever built in Morocco.” – Wikipedia
“The roof is retractable, illuminating the hall with daytime sunlight and allowing worshipers to pray under the stars on clear nights. It weighs 1100 tons and can be opened in five minutes; it measures 60 metres (200 feet) high, with an area of 3,400 square metres (37,000 sq ft).” – Wikipedia