The Minaret’s of Marrakech


The city of Marrakech contains more than 360 mosques and, of course, the visual focal point of each mosque is the minaret. The minaret – from the arabic manāra (منارة), meaning lighthouse – is a tall spire or tower that extends up from the main mosque. Perhaps the most prominent example is the beautiful minaret of the Koutoubia mosque, Marrakech’s oldest and biggest mosque, which looks over the famous Jemaa el-Fna square and can be be seen from right across the city, rising almost 70m.

The main function of the minaret is to provide a vantage point from which the call to prayer is made and once you enter Marrakech it is impossible not to hear this enchanting call ring out across the city 5 times a day; perhaps if you arrive in Marrakech by night, this call will provide your wake up alarm? Minarets also function as air conditioning mechanisms: as the sun heats the dome of the Mosque, air is drawn in through open windows then up and out of the minaret, thus providing ventilation. Due to Islamic law, non-muslims can’t visit the mosque but the tourist can admire the beauty of the minarets as they wander through the red city.

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