Hassan II mosque
Magnificent sanctuary of the Orient
The mosque of the same name, built in honor of the former Moroccan King Hassan II, is considered the second largest Muslim prayer house. It was solemnly inaugurated in 1993 and has space inside for more than twenty-five thousand believers. The directly adjoining prayer platform can accommodate a further eighty thousand visitors. In contrast to Mekka’s holiest mosque, the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca can also be entered by non-Muslims and is therefore the culmination of most study trips to Morocco.
Masterful combination of deep piety and technical finesse
The Hassan II Mosque in the north-west of Morocco borders directly on the Atlantic Ocean, so that it was built on pillars as protection against the roaring sea water. On hot days, the huge roof can be opened automatically to provide fresh air. The 210 meter high square minaret, the side walls of which extend over a length of 25 meters, houses a modern passenger elevator. On nice days, this transports tens of thousands of visitors high above the roofs of Casablanca. It is probably this unprecedented view that turns trips to Morocco into a unique fairy tale from the Arabian Nights.
A feast for the eyes not only for art lovers and historians
The self-image of the Hassan II Mosque definitely extends beyond the role of a place of worship. The complex contains a Muslim school, several hammams, a library and various conference rooms for conference guests from near and far. The mosque sees itself as the religious and cultural center of the country and is as much a religious retreat as a cheerful, social meeting place. The participants of study trips are always deeply moved by this very own mood.
Inside the prayer rooms, which are arranged separately for men and women, visitors can marvel at hundreds of columns and a total of 124 fountains for ritual purification and refreshment. Ornate ornaments and colorful mosaics adorn the walls and floors of the numerous rooms. Experts put the material value of the Hassan II Mosque at one billion dollars.
Sahara in Morocco
In the Sahara, travelers experience the mysterious beauty of the desert. An unbelievably clear starry sky, silence and no people impress all visitors. Travelers who have opted for a multi-day tour of the Sahara will experience a magical odyssey.
Local guides bring the history, romance and tradition of this fantastic landscape to life. With off-road vehicles we go along the endless sand dunes to a tent camp, which at first sight looks almost like a mirage. Organized hikes in the early morning hours present visitors to the Sahara with very special impressions of the landscape. Jeep trips often lead to fortresses or desert cities, where strangers rarely come.
The hospitality of the Tuareg is a very special experience. Listening to their music and stories and savoring meals by their campfire will never be forgotten.
For every trip to the Sahara, you should have enough wishes in your luggage. After all, the likelihood of shooting stars in the desert sky is great.
The place of the jugglers
Everyone knows it, everyone loves it and it is a must for Morocco travelers. For study travelers in particular, it is a perfect opportunity to plunge into the oriental fray: Djemaa el-Fna, the huge market square in Morocco and probably the most famous in all of Africa. Locals only refer to it as “La Place”. Between snake charmers, street artists, storytellers, fortune tellers, artists, musicians, stalls and food stalls, A Thousand and One Nights awakens to pulsating life. Oriental smells and noises waft across the square as if in competition. However, only in the evening when dusk falls. During the day, the Djemaa el-Fna is like a very ordinary marketplace with a few stalls with mopeds rattling around between them.
From the place of death to a world cultural heritage
The hustle and bustle on Djemaa el-Fna was not always so colorful, loud and carefree. Because the history of the marketplace is bloody. At the time of the Almohads, between 1147 and 1269, it was a gruesome place of execution, where impaled heads were displayed to spread fear and terror. Marrakech has left this cruel past far behind. Jugglers’ Square, as Djemaa el-Fna is also affectionately known, has been the first place in the world to have been part of the intangible world cultural heritage since 2001 and has become a point of attraction where tourists and locals alike meet.
In the middle of the medina
Djemaa el-Fna is located in the middle of the medina, the old town of Marrakech, which consists of an impenetrable maze of alleys and small squares. As a European, you can quickly lose your bearings. However, you can hardly get lost. Because sooner or later all streets, big and small, lead back to the market square. And the locals respond to the questioning faces with “La Place” and point in the longed-for direction.