When in Morocco: Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca

Visiting the Hassan II Mosque highlighted my Casablanca stopover. Seated next to the Atlantic Ocean, it's a gigantic Islamic and religious structure that's visible almost everywhere in downtown. This mosque is actually the largest in Morocco and the third in the world, which can house up to more than 100,000 worshipers with its 9-hectare complex.
After an insane 24-hour flight from Manila, I slept it off and excitingly went around Casablanca on the next day. Located west of Morocco, Casablanca is its biggest city and known as the hub of international and domestic flights. Though Casablanca honestly lacks diversity for tourists, Hassan II Mosque is one of the few places to check out there.
The mosque was named after King Hassan II, Morocco's king who reigned from 1961-1999. Though under his name, it was actually built for his father Mohammed V as his grand mausoleum. Since meant for a late sultan, the mosque took 5 years to finish with its detailed construction and design.
Majority of this mosque is made up of granite especially the flooring. Some visitors (even non-Muslims) freely walk around barefoot since the floor tiles are smooth and cool to the feet.

The wall carvings and paintings are inspired by traditional Moroccan design combined with Arabic and Moorish art, a type that's very keen to colorful and patterned designs.
Unlike other mosques highlighted by huge domes, the Hassan II Mosque is drawn up by this tall minaret standing as high as 200 meters. This minaret, which was intently built facing Mecca, is considered as one of the tallest minarets in the world.
Entering the mosque runs on a schedule under a guided tour for MAD 120 (USD 13). It's a huge area, so moving around takes at least an hour or more. Dress code is advised for women, which must not expose the knees and shoulders. It's a religious building, so visitors are expected to pay respect.
To those on a budget, touring outside the mosque is free. I also find the exterior interesting.

How to get there
There’s no nearby mass transport in Hassan II Mosque, so most people either ride a petite taxi (red metered taxi) or take a 20-minute walk from the nearest train station called Casa Port. Note that Casa Port is also the last or end station coming from Mohammed V International Airport.



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