Tourist Attraction in Marrakesh: Jami' al-Kutubiyya
The Kutubiyya Mosque, (Jami' al-Kutubiyya) is the main religious building in the city of Marrakesh. Its name derives from the word "kutub", from the Booksellers, and seems to indicate the fact that in this place, or nearby, there was a suqdi sellers of sacred books or that there were scribes who served the illiterate. The construction of the Kutubiyya was begun under the Sultan Ali ibn Yusuf, of the Berber dynasty of Almoravids around 1120. The mosque is presented, according to the traditional planimetry resulting from the Great Mosque of Qayrawan, which built starting from 670 is the oldest of Islam and became a model for all the following religious buildings. It consists of a large arcaded courtyard open in front of the prayer hall and arranged according to the direction axis of the qibla. The Prayer Hall is one of the largest in the Muslim West, measuring 90 meters in width by 60 meters in length, able to accommodate up to twenty thousand faithful. The hall is divided by numerous white pillars in 17 naves perpendicular to the mihrab wall. The central nave and the transversal nave (along the mihrab wall) are larger in size and give the whole the effect of the typical "T" plant. Exception is the rich minbar of 1137, designed by the master al-Hajj Ya'ish of Malaga. 3.90 meters high and 3.5 meters long, it was built in Cordoba for another mosque, in Sandalwood, ebony, ivory and silver engravings. Its invoice and inlaid decoration required a detailed seven-year work, it is considered one of the masterpieces of Andalusian art according to the Moorish style. Accompany the mosque the famous minaret, symbol of the building itself, and one of the most beautiful and ancient of the Islamic world. The famous minaret is older than the mosque, but was completed later, only in 1196; therefore it is more decorated. Built in Gueliz sandstone according to the characteristic square plan, typical of the Islamic West; with its 69 meters of height and 12.80 meters on each side, it is extremely proportioned, so as to serve as a model to erect the Giralda of Seville and the Tour Hassan of Rabat. Inside there are six overlapping rooms surrounded by a slight ramp designed to climb donkeys loaded with construction materials. At the top of a platform with crenellated balustrade is the base of the lantern of 16 meters high, surmounted by four large decreasing spheres (the largest with a diameter of 6 meters) in golden copper symbolizing the Kutubiyya with the other mosques most important of Islam: the Masjid al-Haram of Mecca, Mosque of the Prophet of Medina and the Mosque of the Rock of Jerusalem. The fine decoration, different in each side of the minaret, is made up of the typical interwoven arches, reliefs, stuccos, paintings, green and blue majolica.