Hassan II mosque, Casablanca, Morocco

The Hassan II mosque, inaugurated in 1993, is located in Casablanca and is built partly on the sea, it is a religious and cultural complex, built on nine hectares and includes a prayer room, a room of ablutions, baths, a Koranic school, a library and a museum. It is the fourth largest mosque in the world. Its minaret is 201 meters. Hassan II had the wish to connect the building to the air, considered one of the four elements beneficial to life with earth, fire and water, that’s why there is a large sunroof that moves in five minutes thanks to a self-propelled wheel bearing system. It is adorned with 124 fountains and marble vanities, it has more than fifty chandeliers and there are some from Murano; it has 18 exterior doors and is equipped with a laser beam indicating the direction of the Mecca with a range of 30 kilometers. On one side and on the other of the central nave, there are two granite columns that have inlaid in gold lettering the pedigree of King Hassan II.

Tips

To visit the mosque, you can buy tickets on site.

Removing shoes is mandatory at the entrance to the prayer room (plastic bags are available to the visitors).

Video cameras, and any kind of radio receiver and / or sound equipment is forbidden inside.

Kasbah Valentine, Ait Ben Haddou, Morocco

Kasbah Valentine is a guest house located in front of the Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, 30 km from Ouarzazate. It has 10 air-conditioned rooms spacious enough, decorated in Berber style, with private bathrooms. There is plenty of natural light in all rooms. Upon arrival you will be welcomed in the traditional way with a mint tea and pastries. There is an onsite restaurant that serves the most typical Berber dishes: couscous, tagine, soup, salad, etc. The most valuable area of this house is the terrace from where you have a breathtaking view; it is also the ideal place to enjoy breakfast or a drink while watching the beautiful surroundings and of course with your camera in hand!

Tips

If you really want to be in a typical place, away from the big city, next to the Kasbah, this place is ideal. The owners will do everything to make your stay unforgettable.
It is best to make a reservation in advance because the house also welcomes groups who are visiting the country, whithout reservation, you might be forced to look elsewhere.
You also have an area next to the restaurant, where you can buy some crafts and even beautiful tagines.

Ait Ben Haddou, Ouarzazate, Morocco

Ait Ben Haddou is a kasbah or village in the Ounila Valley, south of Télouet in the province of Ouarzazate. This valley was a traditional crossing caravans linking Marrakech to Saharan region. It is a true example of the architecture of traditional southern Morocco which is on the side of a hill on top of which there was a collective attic (an agadir). There’s a set of earthen buildings surrounded by walls, the ksar, which is a type of traditional pre-Saharan habitat. The defensive walls are reinforced with corner towers and houses are grouped within the oldest of which date back to the seventeenth century. Around it, a group of villages gathers next to the river that runs through the valley. The people, of nomadic origin, are mostly Berber. The village is inscribed on the World Heritage of UNESCO. For movie lovers, many films have been made in this lovely place such as Lawrence of Arabia, Jesus of Nazareth, Sodom and Gomorrah, The Nile diamond, The Mummy, Gladiator, among others.

Tips

There are two ways to access the kasbah, the ‘tourist’ one, being helped by children waiting for tourists to cross over sandbags on the small river in exchange of some coins or by a bridge built in recent years which will not cause you problems in the case of having a hard time climbing the small hill or for disabled people.
If you insist on taking photos with villagers, always ask their permission, remember that this is their place and us, we are just visitors …
You will find some craftsmen and as usual, you have to negotiate the price before.