About Mausoleum of Mohammed V
The Mausoleum of Mohammed V in Rabat is the grand tomb of one of Morocco’s kings and his two sons.
History of the Mausoleum of Mohammed V
Mohammed V was the sultan of Morocco for two periods – 1927 to 1953 and 1957 to 1961. He agitated for Moroccan independence for the first part of his reign, and was exiled by French colonial authorities in 1953 as a result. However, he successfully negotiated an independence agreement with France and Spain in 1956, and was restored to leadership, assuming the title of king in 1957.
Commissioned by King Hassan II in 1962 and completed in 1971, the Mausoleum of Mohammed V is a white building crowned with green tiles. Inside, the mausoleum is lavishly decorated and adorned with a wealth of traditional artwork. It was designed by the Vietnamese architect Cong Vo Toan to evoke a sense of Moroccan identity and to pay tribute to the sophisticated craftsmanship of Moroccan artisans.
The design makes use of traditional porticoes of Moorish arches, white marble and the ubiquitous sekba motif, found all over Morocco. The rectangular open-sided pavilion too the west was designed as a museum for the Alouite dynasty, and the mosque in between the two buildings is deliberately low as not to obstruct the view of any of the surrounding structures.
Together with its namesake, the Mausoleum of Mohammed V is also the final resting place of King Hassan II and Prince Abdallah, his two sons.
The Mausoleum of Mohammed V today
The mausoleum complex is open from dawn to dusk, and it’s quite a sight to behold. Royal guards wear dress uniforms, and visitors are expected to dress respectfully (long clothes, covered shoulders and ideally a headscarf for women). The tomb itself can be viewed from above, via a gallery. Be sure to visit the Hassan Tower which is located just behind the mausoleum complex.
Getting to the Mausoleum of Mohammed V
The Mausoleum is located in the Quartier Hassan. It’s about 2km from Rabat’s Medina – walkable, but with some busy roads to cross. Taxis are plentiful around the medina, so hail one if the heat or chaos gets to you.
A country with traditions from sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and the wider Middle East woven into its cultural fabric, Morocco is host to a number of historic sites which make for a fantastic visit.