Casablanca or more affectionately known as Casa has a population of three and a half million and is the largest city and port in Morocco. It’s also the biggest city in the Maghreb and the sixth biggest city in the entire continent of Africa.Casablanca, the most famous name in Morocco Travel, is considered the economic capital of Morocco because it is the heart of Moroccan business. It is also the primary naval base for the Royal Moroccan Navy. Casablanca is the headquarters and main industrial facilities for leading Moroccan and international companies based in Morocco. Industrial statistics show Casablanca retains its historic position as the main industrial zone of the country.
The area which is today Casablanca was settled by Berbers by at least the 7th century. A small independent kingdom, in the area then named Anfa, arose in the area around that time in response to Arab Muslim rule, and continued until it was conquered by the Almoravids in 1068. Originally modeled after Marseilles when theFrench landed Casa in 1907, Casa is the most European of Morocco’s cities and is known as a huge metropolis where modernity and tradition co-exist. As a tourist you can enjoy Casa’s bustling new town or its old medina and also meet immigrants from the countryside. At night you can dance at beach clubs and rub shoulders with the elite and also dine in some of the most liveliest and tasteful seafood restaurants on Casa’s port, the Corniche.
Live it up in Casa! Then take an excursion to Rabat or Tangier,both easily accessible from this capital of the Greater Casablanca region.
Casablanca One-day Tour:
►Start your morning off with coffee and baguettes at one of the cafes at Parc de La Ligue Arabe, a huge garden with avenues lined with tall palm trees, ficus, arcades, pergolas and flower beds.
►Moving north, we will take the road towards the old medina as you move throughPlace Mohammed V and the Place des Nations Uniones, the main focal points ofVille Novelle, Casa’s new town. See French architecture complemented withMoorish design in Place Mohammed V, the protectorate square. Pass by the prefecture, law courts, central post office and cultural centers.
►Enjoy music played by the attractive monumental fountain. Next enter Place des Nationes Unies. Now lined with impressive 1930’s apartments, shops and restaurants, the square was no more than an entertaining market place at the beginning of the 20th century.
►Make sure you have a camera in hand to take pictures of the famous clock tower,art deco hotels, the eleven story Moretti apartment block and the high rise art deco buildings covered with loggias, columns, zellij tiles and geometric carvings onBoulevard Mohmmed V.
►Visit the famous residential blocks: the Glaoui, the Bessonneau and the Asayag. The Boulevard links Place des Nationes with the railway station and is the gateway to the central market. Continue a short way to the Avenue des Forces Royal, a commercial area that leads into the old medina. With the help of your guide, move easily through the labyrinth of narrow streets lined with jewelers, barbers andartisans. See the squala, a fortified 18th century bastion. Visit the nearby shrine containing the tomb of Sidi Allal el-Kairouant, Casa’s first patron saint.
►Enjoy lunch at one of the international restaurants by Casa’s port, the Corniche. After lunch visit the Mosque of Hassan II. Casablanca is home to the Hassan II Mosque, designed by the French architect Michel Pinseau. It is situated on apromontory looking out to the Atlantic, which can be seen through a gigantic glass floor with room for 25,000 worshippers.
►A further 80,000 can be accommodated in the mosque’s courtyard. Its minaret is the world’s tallest at 210 meters. Work on the mosque was started in 1980, and was intended to be completed for the 60th birthday of the former Moroccan king,Hassan II, in 1989. However, the building was not inaugurated until 1993. Authorities spent an estimated $800 million in the construction of the building. It is an enormous architectural masterpiece and the second largest religious building in the world. Tour its famous minaret, dome, royal doors made of marble. On Fridays, the Mosque of Hassan II is open to non-Muslims.
►The Mosque of Hassan II’s promontory offers lovely views overlooking Casa in the residential Afna quarter. After touring the Mosque, head over to the New Town of Casablanca also designed by the French architect Henri Prost for an hour of shopping. The main streets of the New Town (Ville Nouvelle in French) radiate south and east from Place des Nations Unies, where the main market of Anfa had been. The New Town you past in your morning journey is possibly the most impressive in Morocco. Former administrative buildings and modern hotels populate the area. Their style is a combination of Hispano-Mauresque and Art Deco styles.
►End the day with a visit to The Parc de la Ligue Arabe (formally called Lyautey) which is the city’s largest public park. On its edge is situated the Cathedrale du Sacré Coeur, which is disused, but is a splendid example of Mauresque architecture. This completes your Morocco Travel experience.