Kutubiyya Mosque

In recent news, the historic Kutubiyya Mosque in Marrakesh, Morocco, has suffered damage due to a recent earthquake.

This topic of “Kutubiyya Mosque” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

What Is the Kutubiyya Mosque?


The Kutubiyya Mosque stands as a symbol of history and spirituality, representing one of the most iconic landmarks in Marrakesh.

The Minaret: “Roof of Marrakesh”

  • Height: The minaret of the Kutubiyya Mosque soars to a height of 69 meters, earning it the nickname the “roof of Marrakesh.”

Architectural Importance

This mosque is a testament to the magnificence of Almohad architecture, showcasing the artistry and craftsmanship of its time.

Where Is the Kutubiyya Mosque Located?


The Kutubiyya Mosque graces the vibrant city of Marrakesh, Morocco, with its timeless presence.

Marrakesh History

  • Foundation: Marrakesh was founded in 1070 and holds its origins in the Almoravid dynasty.
  • Distinctiveness: It was one of the first major cities in the Islamic west, encompassing the Maghrib region, which includes Morocco, Algeria, and parts of Tunisia.
  • Founders: The city was established by an indigenous group of the region.

Language and Significance

  • Language: The majority dialect in Marrakesh is Tamazight, distinct from Arabic.
  • Oral Language: Knowledge transfer in Marrakesh predominantly occurs through poetic stories.
  • Marrakech’s Significance: The city’s Berber capital origin plays a pivotal role in shaping contemporary Moroccan national identity.
  • Distinctiveness: Unlike Arab or Roman-rooted North African cities, Marrakech claims a distinctively Moroccan heritage.
  • Historical Resistance: Marrakech resisted Ottoman expansion in the 16th century, maintaining the Kingdom of Morocco’s autonomy, with Marrakech as its base. The city also played a central role in colonial resistance against French and Spanish competition, ultimately leading to independence movements in the 20th century. As a result, the French moved their colonial capital to Rabat.


The name “Morocco” finds its roots in the transmutation of “Marrakech,” emphasizing the city’s historical significance.

When Does the Kutubiyya Mosque’s History Begin?

Historical Timeline

The history of the Kutubiyya Mosque dates back to the 12th century, marking centuries of significance and cultural heritage.

Interesting Facts About Marrakech’s Historical Sites

The Qasba Mosque

  • Importance Rank: The Qasba Mosque holds the distinction of being the “second” major mosque in Marrakesh.
  • Construction Timeline: It was constructed between 1185 and 1189, representing another remarkable architectural achievement in the city.
  • Restoration History: The mosque has undergone restoration at various points in history, with political instability being a key driver of its decline. Restoration efforts were notable in the 17th century and more recently in the 21st century.
  • Renovation Details: Local artisans played a crucial role in the mosque’s renovation, focusing on restoring the stucco walls and intricate mosaic tile work, known as “zellij,” preserving the mosque’s historical and cultural significance.

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