MOROCCO - HASSAN TOWER AND MAUSOLEUM   2009

We walked up the hill to visit the Hassan tower soaring over Bou Regreg and surrounded by gardens. The entrance to the grounds was guarded by horsemen dressed in full uniform.


The gardens were well kept and included fountains of intricate blue ceramic tilework. Fountains of this type are seen all over Morocco as Muslims are required to be clean in preparation for ritual prayers.

The Hassan Tower

The Rabat landmark Hassan Tower is the minaret of an incomplete mosque. Begun in 1195 AD, the tower was intended to be the largest minaret in the world along with the mosque, also intended to be the world's largest. In 1199, construction on the mosque stopped. The tower only reached 44m (140ft), about half of its intended 86m (260ft) height. The rest of the mosque was also left incomplete, with only the beginnings of several walls and 200 columns being constructed. Hassan's sister tower, the Giralda in Seville, was also made of red sandstone.

Mausoleum of Mohammed V Sultan of Morocco from 1927 to 1953


Opposite the Hassan Tower is the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, built in traditional Moroccan style,

The building is considered a masterpiece of modern dynasty architecture, with its white silhouette, topped by a typical green tiled roof. Its construction was completed in 1971.

The Mausoleum contains the tombs of the late Moroccan king, Mohammed V, and his two sons, King Hassan II and Prince Abdallah. Hassan II, the present King's father, was buried there following his death in 1999.

From the overhead gallery, guarded by uniformed sentries, we looked down on the tombs and the elaborate decor of the Mausoleum.

<<<Inside the domes of the Mausoleum were majestically beautiful.

Outside, the doors were guarded by sentinels toting beautifully antique rifles  engraved stocks of ivory and wood.>>>




As grandiose and flashy as the Mausoleum was, the area was surrounded by the typical slums of Morocco residents.