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Spain Savvy Culture Corner: the mirroring minarets of Spain & Morocco

There’s nothing like learning a little bit of architectural and cultural history as it relates to travel.  Spain and Morocco are two countries bound by many centuries of history reflected in their modern culture.  At one time the southern region of Spain was called “Al-Andalus”. These photos of minarets are a perfect example of this.

The Hassan Tower in Rabat and the Giralda Tower in Seville were both modeled after the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech. The Hassan Tower’s construction was halted in 1199 A.D. following the death of Yaqub al-Mansur, the project’s financier.

Yaqub al-Mansur was a member of the Almohad Caliphate, a Berber Muslim empire in the Maghreb and Iberia. The tower, according to some traditions, was designed by an astronomer and mathematician named Jabir ibn Aflah who was also supposed to have designed Hassan’s sister tower, the Giralda of Seville in Al Andalus (modern day Spain). Jabir’s involvement in the design of the structure can not be confirmed though and many scholars assume that the tower was designed by Ahmad Ben Basso, the designer of the Koutoubia Mosque. Spanish Renaissance later added a belfry on top of the Giralda, which was converted from a minaret to a bell tower for the Seville Cathedral after the Reconquista.

Can you tell we are passionate about world history?  Contact us today to start your own historical discoveries in Spain and Morocco on your very own customized tour.

“Study the past if you would define the future” ~ Confucius

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