Saturday, February 2, 2013

Casablanca (Part II) - A "Somewhere Sunday" Post



This week for "Somewhere Sunday" we return to the Mosque Hassan II in Casablanca, Morocco for an interior tour.

We mentioned last week that the Mosque Hassan II was only the 7th largest in the world but its stats are still quite impressive. The interior prayer hall measures 660' x 3300' and can accommodate 25,000 people. Equally amazing is that it was built with a retractable roof! 

One request of Hassan II was that, as much as possible, materials utilized in the mosque be sourced from Morocco.  As such, much of the marble is from Agadir, the cedar wood used in the ceilings is from the Atlas Mountains and the granite comes from Tafroute.  An exception was the importation of huge glass chandeliers from Murano, Italy.  Altogether, 6000 artisans worked for 5 years to create the tile mosaics, carved wooden ceilings, stone and marble floors and columns, and the intricately sculpted plaster moldings.



Prayer Hall


close up details of hand carved and painted ceiling at the Mosque Hassan II, Casablanca, Morocco
Ornately hand painted ceiling details.




close up details of hand carved and painted ceiling at the Mosque Hassan II, Casablanca, Morocco
Intricately carved cedar wood ceiling.





Sculpted plaster moldings adorn the mosque's walls and arches.




Granite and marble were sourced from the seaside town of Agadir



Details of Zellige work 



An interlocking geometric and floral pattern covers the floor



Glass chandeliers from Murano, Italy



Gated doors  into the prayer hall