Sunday 22 September 2013

Visit Hassan II Mosque in Casablance, the Biggest Mosque in Morocco

Casablanca is not a destination for tourists but if you have a time to stop by there, try to visit Hassan II Mosque along the Atlantic Ocean. It has the highest minaret (tower of mosque) in the world and actually, 25,000 people can pray in this mosque at the same time.

Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca
Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca
This is a rare opportunity to see such a huge mosque. Built in 1999, by the former king Hassan II. To get inside, join a guided tour provided by the mosque.

Mohammad V Square in Casablanca
Mohammad V Square

To get to the Hassan II Mosque, you need to get through a heavy traffic jam in Casablanca. This is the Mohammed V Square, the center of the city. Tramways are being built, but it doesn't seem like helping the traffic problems :-)

Monument at the entrance of Casablanca medina
Monument at the entrance of the medina
At the entrance of the medina in Casablanca. It's not well known like the medinas in Marrakech or Fez, but you can see local people's daily life there.

Fountain in Hassan II Mosque
Fountain in Hassan II Mosque
The fountain of the Hassan II Mosque. The mosque is designed by a French architect, green is the symbol color of Islam.

Granite pillars of Hassan II Mosque
Pillars of Hassan II Mosque
These granite pillars are so beautiful. Marble floors, zellige tiles, there's a lot to see in this huge building.

Fountain in the courtyard of Hassan II Mosque
Fountain in the courtyard
A star shaped fountain in the courtyard. Actually, there are 41 fountains in this courtyard!

Tajine for lunch!
And after visiting the mosque, enjoy tajine, Morocco's specialty! This is in a local restaurant during Casablanca and Rabat.

Let's visit Hassan II Mosque with us!
Casablanca Day Trip

by Morocco Desert Palm Tours

Saturday 21 September 2013

Ben Youssef Madrasa in Marrakech, One of Must-Sees

If you have a chance to walk in the media of Marrakech, try to check out Ben Youssef Madrasa, which is in the north of the old medina.
Usually, shopping in the souk is the highlight of the tour, but if you just spare a short time to visit here, your day in Marrakech could be much more unforgettable.

Ben Youssef Madrasa in Marrakech
Beautiful courtyard
Ben Youssef Madrasa, an Islamic school for young studens, was established by the 14th century Sultan, and it had been actually used until the middle of the 20th century. Right next to this school is a mosque, and students came and went between the school and the mosque.

Street in medina in Marrakech
On the way to Ben Youssef
To get to the madrasa, you'll walk through the narrow streets in the medina in Marrakech. Shops along the streets are fun to see.

Marrakech Museum
Marrakech Museum is in the next
Marrakech Museum is right next to the madrasa. This used to a 19th century palace of a noble person in Marrakech.

Ben Youssef Madrasa
The entrace
After getting through a small gate, suddenly a bright big courtyard appears in front of you. It's a nice surprise for visitors.

Ben Youssef Madrasa
The wall is covered with Islamic patterns
The walls of the courtyard are covered with elaborate patterns and mosaics. Very sophisticated and well-organised.

Zellige mosaic of Ben Youssef Madrasa
Fine example of zellige mosaic
Tiles here are one of the most beautiful examples of zellige mosaic. You can identify the Ben Youssef Madrasa only by seeing its wall mosaic.

Courtyard of Ben Youssef Madrasa
Looking down the courtyard from upstairs
If you go upstairs, you can look down the courtyard. Afternoon sunlight makes a beautiful contrast.

Bedrooms of Ben Youssef Madrasa
Bedrooms for students
Contrary to the big courtyard, bedrooms for students upstairs are like small cells. Just a place for a bed and maybe for pray.

Looking down the hallway of Ben Youssef Madrasa
Beautiful decorations inside
Hallway is also beautifully decorated. How lucky students are, who actually had a chance to live here. And I believe we can find someone who had a school life here if we try hard!

Let's visit Ben Youssef Madrasa with us!
Marrakech Day Trip

by Morocco Desert Palm Tours