Koutoubia Mosque
The name is derived from the Arabic al-Koutoubiyyin for librarian, since it used to be surrounded by sellers of manuscripts. It is considered the ultimate structure of its kind. The tower is 69 m (221 ft) in height and has a lateral length of 12.8 m (41 ft). Six rooms (one above the other) constitute the interior; leading around them is a ramp by way of which the muezzin could ride up to the balcony. It is built in a traditional Almohad style and the tower is adorned with four copper globes. According to legend, the globes were originally made of pure gold, and there were once supposed to have been only three globes. The fourth globe was donated by the wife of Yaqub el-Mansur as compensation for her failure to keep the fast for one day during the month of Ramadan. She had her golden jewelry melted down to form the fourth globe. The minaret of the Koutoubia was the model for the minaret of the Giralda mosque in Seville which in its turn has influenced thousands of church towers in Spain and Eastern Europe.


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