Hassan II Mosque

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Description

The Hassan II Mosque or Grande Mosquée Hassan II is a mosgue in Casablanca, Morocco. It is the largest mosque in Morocco and Africa and the 7th lagest in the world. Its minaret is the world's tallest at 210 metres (689 ft). Completed in 1993, it was designed byMichel Pinseau and built by Bouyques. The minaret is 60 stories high topped by a laser, the light from which is directed towards Mecca 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 worshippers can gather together for prayer: 25,000 inside the mosque hall and another 80,000 on the mosque's outside grounds

The mosque is located at Bd Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah in Casablanca.The 9-hectare (22-acre) complex nestles between the harbor and the El Hank lighthouse. From the nearest train station at Casa-Port it is about a 20-minute walk to the mosque. The ten-lane boulevard with shopping avenues has its terminus at the southern facade of the mosque and extends to the gates of the Palace Oued el Makhazine in the middle of the city. The basilical plan of the mosque justifies this layout of the boulevard.

The mosque rises above the Atlantic Ocean. The building is built partially on land and partially over the ocean. This siting was accomplished by creating a platform linking a natural rock outcrop reclaimed from the sea, where a swimming pool had previously been located. Two large breakwaters were also built, to protect the mosque from the erosive action of the ocean waves, which can be up to 10 metres (33 ft) in height.A temporary pier 800 metres (2,600 ft) in length had to be erected to protect the foundations of the pillars from the sea during the construction period.Its environmental advantage is that it is free of noise and pollution and receives a fresh breeze from the sea.Apart from the mosque, other structures in the area are a madrasa (Islamic school), hammams (bathhouses), a museum on Moroccan history, conference halls, and a very large library said to be the "most comprehensive in the Islamic world."The 41 fountains in the courtyard are all well decorated. The garden around the mosque is well tended and is a popular location for family picnics. The traditionally designed madrasa occupies an area of 4,840 square metres (52,100 sq ft) including the basement. Two stories in height, it is constructed in a semi-circular shape, with abutting qibla wall and the mihrab section.

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