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In the late 12th century, Sultan Yaqub al-Mansur, the third Caliph of Almohad Dynasty that ruled over West Africa and Iberia, ordered the construction of a massive mosque and a minaret called Hassan Tower in Rabat, the capital city of Morocco. Yaqub al-Mansur had already built the iconic Koutoubia and El Mansouria mosques in Marrakech and the kasbah of the Udayas. During his reign the empire flourished in trade, architecture, philosophy and the sciences. His victorious military campaigns against the Christians saw the establishment of the Arabs for the first time in Morocco.

Yaqub al-Mansur’s latest project was his most ambitious one. Hassan Tower was to be the tallest minaret in the world, and the adjoining mosque would have been the largest. This grand project was to be the centerpiece of his new capital and a celebration of the Sultan’s victory over the Spanish Christians at Alarcos. Unfortunately, Yaqub al-Mansur died in 1199, and construction came to an abrupt halt just four years after it began.


Photo credit: Diana K/Flickr

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© Amusing Planet, 2016.

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