Mecca | FactMonster
Columbia Encyclopedia /
Arabian Peninsula Political Geography /
Mecca mĕk´ə [key] or Makkah măk´ə [key], city (1993 pop. 966,381), capital of the Hejaz, W Saudi Arabia. The birthplace c.AD 570 of Muhammad the Prophet, it is the holiest city of Islam , and the goal of the annual Muslim hajj . It is c.45 mi (70 km) from its port, Jidda , and is in a narrow valley overlooked by hills crowned with castles.