Kairaouine Mosque in Fes, Morocco

Kairaouine Mosque in Fes

The Kairaouine Mosque (Djemaa el Kairaouine) in Fes is the second-largest mosque in Morocco after the new Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. The Kairaouine Mosque has two minarets: the original one and the Burj an-Naffara (Trumpeter’s Tower). The original minaret is the oldest Islamic monument in Fes, dating from 956.

The Kairaouine mosque is also one of the most important mosque’s in Morocco and governs the timing of all Islamic festivals across the country. Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the mosque. The Kairaouine Mosque was founded in 857 by Fatima al-Fihri, the daughter of a affluent refugee from the city of Kairouan in Tunisia. Fatima and her sister Mariam inherited a great deal of money from their father, and Fatima vowed to spend all of it on a proper mosque for the Tunisian community in Fes.

Kairaouine Mosque in Fes
Kairaouine Mosque in Fes

The current form of the mosque, however, is generally the result of a 10th-century renovation under Abd Er Rahman III, the Caliph of Cordoba, and a 12th-century renovation under the Almoravids. The best possible sight of the Kairaouine can be had from the roof of the Medersa el Attarin, which is only sometimes open to the public.

About the author

Kevin Dyck is the founder of Mosaic North Africa and has over 11 years experience living in North African countries. He is an Arabic speaker with a passion for travelers to encounter the diverse cultures and natural beauty found throughout the North Africa region. He currently lives in and works for MNA from Tunis, Tunisia.

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