GPS coordinates: 34°01’21.7″N 6°49’17.4″W (34.022694, -6.821496)
The mausoleum had been erected in 1971 by Vietnamese architect Eric Vo Toan. It took 10 years to create this masterpiece of modern Alaouite architecture. More than 400 artisans had been working over decoration of mausoleum.
Tombs of Mohammed V (in the center) and of his sons (king Hassan II and prince Abdallah) are made of white onyx. Between the tombs you can see an open book, Quran – it is a place for Quran reader.
Mausoleum looks great in the daytime (when you can make a visit and note every little detail) and in the evening (with illumination). Opposite the mausoleum there is Hassan tower.
About Mohammed V
Mohammed V was 19 years old when he became sultan after the death of his father in 1927. Morocco was under French protectorate.
In 1953, because of sultan’s support of the national movement for the independence of Morocco, French government deposed Mohammed V (without abdication). Sultan was exiled with his family to Corsica and then to Madagascar. His uncle, Mohammed ben Arafa was placed on the throne. Because of threats and assassination attempts Mohammed ben Arafa tried not to go outside the palace.
In 1955 strikes, riots and attacks (on Moroccans who were known for collaboration with colonialists) led French government to conclusion, that it would be better to return Mohammed V. In October Mohammed ben Arafa had demanded a 30 000 000 francs compensation and abdicated of title. Since then he had been living in exile in France.
The legitimacy of Mohammed ben Arafa government was recognized neither by Moroccans and Spanish protectorate nor by the world community. Suffix “the 6th” received today’s king Mohammed, when he ascended the throne. As if Mohammed ben Arafa had never been a sultan. Mohammed ben Arafa never mentioned the reasons that brought him to collaboration with colonialists.
In 1957 Mohammed V changed his title from «sultan» to «king». As a symbol of unity of Morocco despite of dissonances between Arab and Berber nations. The king died in 1961. The place for mausoleum was chosen next to Tour Hassan, here Mohammed V had declared the independence of Morocco to his people.
Take Rabat map with you – just click the star and it will be saved in your Google account. Any locations in this region that I will add later will appear on your map.