From afar the 12th century Koutoubia minaret gives the impression of being absolutely enormous as it dwarfs all buildings in Marrakech due to a law that forbids any building from being of the same height. Up close, it doesn’t seem so tall, in fact you can be just around the corner and find it is obscured from sight by three-storey buildings.
The mosque is constructed of red stone and brick and measures 80 metres in length and 60 metres in width, and the minaret, which refers to the tower structure of a mosque, stands at 77 metres high.
The purpose of a minaret is to provide a constant visual cue to the Muslim community and to provide a vantage point from which to make the call to prayer.
Until the 1990s the Koutoubia minaret was covered in Marrakech pink plaster, but a decision was made to remove it to expose the brickwork, which is really spectacular and definitely worth a closer look.
Unfortunately, non-Muslims are not permitted to enter the mosque but you can go up close to the building and explore the courtyard, gardens and nearby cemetery.