Historic Koutoubia Mosque Damaged in the Aftermath of a 6.8-Magnitude Earthquake in Morocco

Historic Koutoubia Mosque Damaged in the Aftermath of a 6.8-Magnitude Earthquake in Morocco

A 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Morocco on Tuesday, causing damage to the historic Koutoubia Mosque.

On Friday, September 8th, a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 shook Morocco, and initial reports indicate that the renowned Koutoubia Mosque suffered damage due to the seismic activity.

Although specific details about the extent of the damage to the mosque, one of Marrakech’s most iconic landmarks, are not yet available, certain components of the structure have been affected. The mosque holds a significant place as one of the oldest edifices in the city.

The public has noticed that the minaret of the mosque remains intact, despite appearances in images circulating on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

A Brief Overview of the Storied History of Koutoubia Mosque

Historic Koutoubia Mosque Damaged in the Aftermath of a 6.8-Magnitude Earthquake in Morocco

The construction of the Koutoubia Mosque is credited to Yaqub al-Mansur, who held the position of Caliph in the Almohad Empire and oversaw its completion around the year 1150. Originally known as “Jama’ al-Koutoubiyyin,” meaning the “Mosque of the Booksellers” due to its proximity to a book market, the mosque later adopted the simplified name “Koutoubia,” derived from the Arabic word for booksellers.

Built on the site of a previous mosque that an earthquake destroyed in 1147, the present-day Koutoubia Mosque stands as one of the oldest and most impressive mosques in Morocco, as affirmed by its official website.

As detailed on the mosque’s official website, the Koutoubia Mosque not only attracts tourists but also symbolizes the rich historical and cultural heritage of the city. Its architectural grandeur and beauty have established it as a popular tourist destination.

The renowned architect Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur designed the Koutoubia Mosque, skillfully blending elements of Islamic and Andalusian architecture to create a visually stunning and majestic structure.

Constructed using red sandstone, the mosque features a towering minaret that reaches a height of 77 meters. The minaret is adorn with intricate carvings and is crown with a copper sphere and crescent moon.

Associated with UNESCO World Heritage Site

Morocco is jolt by a 6.8-magnitude earthquake on Friday evening local time, resulting in a tragic loss of over 2,100 lives in its aftermath.

The earthquake’s epicenter was located in the Atlas Mountains, approximately 70 kilometers south of Marrakech. Notably, this location is in close proximity to Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa, and Oukaimeden, a renowned Moroccan ski resort.

CNN has reported that a significant portion of the UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising the red walls of Marrakech has also sustained damage.

And then, these historic walls are part of a network of defensive fortifications erect in the early 12th century to safeguard the ancient Medina area from external threats.