Mohammed V Mausoleum
The Mausoleum stands opposite the Hassan Tower and is no less magnificent than the building it stands next to (Hassan Tower). It is a building in keeping with Moroccan style and a true reflection of the respect and awe in which its occupants are held. It is very much a prime example of Moroccan architecture at its very best. This building in particular is a fine example of the Alaouite dynasty, the line of descent for the current Royal family and who first entered Morocco towards the end of the 13th century.
Mohammed V ruled Morocco for two periods, these were 1927 – 1953 and 1953 – 1961, and in between these periods he was exiled. However, he is remembered by his people as a ruler who made a valid contribution towards Moroccan independence. The Mausoleum was commissioned by King Hassan II in 1962 and completed in 1971. It also holds the two sons of the Sultan, those being King Hassan II and Prince Abdallah.
The building is resplendent in the traditional motifs and designs within its pristine white walls and outside the simple whiteness is matched by the pure green tiles of the roof – the colour of Islam. It is shaded by the free standing columns of the Hassan Tower a stark reminder of the unbuilt mosque.
As you will find with a lot of Moroccan buildings the materials for the Mausoleum are mostly locally sourced and include marble and granite, with ceilings carved from Moroccan cedar. The mirrored marble of the floors is matched by beautiful sliding doors festooned with richly designed motifs. All in all the interior of the mausoleum is adorned in opulent carvings and decorations that reflect the unrivalled techniques of Moroccan architecture and interior design. It is an awe inspiring site of intricacy and originality.
The room where the tombs are held is a room of quiet contemplation and prayer for those that visit, surrounded by scarlet flags and beautifully lit chandeliers with shades of black and gold everywhere. The ceiling disappears into a dome shape; festooned with gold and lights and intricate trellises of intricate patterns and shapes.
The Mausoleum is open to visitors during the day but is quite busy during holy days and Friday Midday prayers when it is closed between 12noon and 2pm. This is clearly a place of great meaning to the people of Morocco and it is wise to treat it as such when visiting. Visitors are advised to dress conservatively covering knees, and shoulders at the very least. Guards standing by are happy to be photographed, but it is a good idea to ask permission first before doing so.