Hassan Tower in Rabat

Hassan Tower in Rabat
Hassan Tower in Rabat

The origin of this great tower in the city of Rabat, the capital of Morocco, dates back to the end of the 12th century, to the times of the Almohad sultan Yaqub al-Mansur, who ruled both parts of North Africa and the area of ​​Al -Andalus. the part of Spain under Muslim rule.


Rabat Hassan Tower

That powerful ruler was enjoying a period of prosperity, and he wanted to express all his power and prestige by building a great mosque in Rabat. A great temple to rival in size the Great Mosque of Al-Mutawakkil in Samarra, in the territory of present-day Iraq.

However, he never completed his project, and the works were abandoned just after his early death in 1199. In this way, from that dream only the tower that was to be the minaret has survived to this day of the mosque, which by the way was never completed either, since it reaches a height of 44 meters, when it was intended to exceed 80.

And they have also withstood the passing of the centuries almost two hundred thick columns raised on a marble floor and that would support the roof of the prayer room of the mosque. It was intended that some 20,000 faithful could enter there, something that had nothing to do with the diminutive size of Rabat at that time.

All this today is a large open-air monument in the heart of theMoroccan capital, and has also become the space chosen for the mausoleum of some of its last rulers.

Without a doubt, even unfinished, the tower is spectacular and has all the identifying features of Almohad architecture and ornamentation. For this reason, it is easy to relate it to other more or less contemporary minarets such as the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech, or to the Muslim origins of the Giralda, converted over time into the bell tower of the Catedral de Sevilla.

The Hassan Tower from a distance it may seem that it is built with brick. But it is not like that, it was built on the basis of reddish sandstone. As with other similar constructions, in reality, it is a double tower, one inside the other to generate a hollow space where to locate the stairs. It should not be forgotten that the minarets have the sole function of allowing the muezzin or muezzin to climb to the highest point to summon the Muslims to prayer from there, something that the Muslim rite requires them to do five times a day. Taking into account that frequency and the great height that this minaret was going to reach, narrow stairs were not built here, but wide ramps that allowed the muezzin to climb to the top on horseback. In addition, such ramps facilitated the construction of the tower itself.

Today this whole complex is declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

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