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  4. Almoravid Koubba

Almoravid Koubba, Marrakesh

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The Almoravid Koubba (also called Koubba Ba'adiyn) is the oldest building in Marrakesh and the only Almoravid building remaining in Morocco.

History

The Almoravids (1062-1145) were reformers and monastic-type warriors from the nomadic Sanhaja Berber tribe (in what is now Mauritania). After conquering their homeland, they expanded to Morocco in 1062 and eventually extended their empire all the way to Algiers.

The koubba was built during the Almoravid Dynasty and was probably an ablutions annexe for the Ben Youssef Mosque. For centuries it was covered over amid the many rebuildings of the mosque; it was only excavated in 1952.

What to See

Because the ground level of Marrakesh has risen over the centuries (as in many historic cities), today's visitors must descend two flights of stairs to reach its entrance.

This little building is significant not only because it's very old, but because its style is at the root of all Moroccan architecture. Its motifs of pine cones, palms and acanthus leaves were used in the Ben Youssef Mosque and other later buildings; its beautifully-shaped windows became the distinctive design of the Almohads and Merenids.

Also highly influential on later designs are the koubba's pyramid-like battlements, the rib design on the dome, and the sophisticated interior support system, composed of a square and star-shaped octagon.

In addition to the koubba itself, visitors can view a large water cistern and remains of fountains for performing ablutions.

Quick Facts on Almoravid Koubba

Site Information
Names:Almoravid Koubba; Almoravid Koubba, Marrakesh; Koubba Ba'adiyn
City:Marrakesh
Country:Morocco
Categories:Mosques
Faiths:Islam
Feat:Oldest
Dates:c.1100
Status:ruins
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Marrakesh, Morocco
Coordinates:31.631501° N, 7.987345° W  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Almoravid Koubba

Below is a location map and aerial view of Almoravid Koubba. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

References

  1. Personal visit (April 9, 2007; exterior only).
  2. The Rough Guide to Morocco, 7th ed. (October 2004).

More Information

Article Info

Title:Almoravid Koubba, Marrakesh
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:08/18/2009
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/morocco/marrakesh-koubba/morocco/marrakesh-ben-youssef-medersa
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/morocco/marrakesh-koubba/morocco/marrakesh-ben-youssef-medersa">Almoravid Koubba, Marrakesh</a>