Wednesday, Aug. 03, 2011

The World's Tallest Minaret

If you visit the Hassan II Mosque just to see the world's tallest minaret, you're selling yourself way short. Built on a promontory on the edge of Casablanca, the Hassan II Mosque can hold 25,000 worshippers and another 80,000 on its grounds. Half of the mosque lies on reclaimed land over the Atlantic Ocean and part of the mosque's floor is made of glass so worshippers can kneel and pray directly over the sea. But at 689 ft. (210 m) the Hassan II's minaret is an important architectural entity in its own right. Minarets traditionally serve as the vantage point from which the calls to prayer are made five times a day. The Hassan II's minaret is not only the tallest minaret in the world but also the tallest structure in Morocco. At night, lasers shine a beam from the minaret toward Mecca "to point the way to God," ensuring that visitors to Casablanca and the surrounding areas always know the direction of Islam's holiest city.