Mouassine Mosque

Marrakech, Morocco

Mouassine Mosque

The Mouassine Mosque or al-Muwassin Mosque (Arabic: جامع المواسين‎, romanized: jama' al-muwāssīn) is a major neighbourhood mosque (a Friday mosque) in Marrakech, Morocco, dating from the 16th century during the Saadian Dynasty. It shares its name with the Mouassine neighbourhood.

The mosque was commissioned by the Saadian sultan Moulay Abdallah al-Ghalib. Construction took place between 1562-63 CE (970 AH) and 1572-73 CE (980 AH). In 1557-58 CE the sultan had ordered that the Jewish population of the city relocate to an area closer to the Kasbah (royal citadel), resulting in the creation of a new Jewish mellah which continued to exist into modern times. Construction of the mellah was probably finished around 1562-63. Meanwhile, the emptying of the old Jewish neighbourhoods had liberated a large amount of space within the city which was open to redevelopment. The Mouassine Mosque, along with the Bab Doukkala Mosque whose construction began slightly earlier, appears to have been part of a larger plan to build new "model" neighbourhoods in this area and spur an urban renewall of Marrakesh. Like the Bab Doukkala Mosque, it was conceived as part of a coherent religious and civic complex which included, in addition to the mosque itself, a madrasa, a library, a primary school, a hammam (public bathhouse), an ablutions house (mida'a) with latrines, a water trough for animals, and a public fountain for distributing water to locals. Although many Marinid-era mosques were also built with attached facilities, this type of grand architectural complex was unprecedented in Morocco and may have been influenced by the tradition of building such complexes in Mamluk Egypt and in the Ottoman Empire.

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