Casablanca, the economic heart of Morocco, lives at an unbridled pace. The heart of the Moroccan economy and guarantor of a unique historical heritage, it gives us its many facets. The richness of its architectural heritage evokes in itself the image of a city where time never stands still. Full of history and looking to the future, the cosmopolitan city where all nationalities meet shows its modernity.
History of Casablanca
No historian could accurately identify the true founder of Casablanca, formerly named Anfa.
Under the auspices of the Merinide dynasty, Anfa remains a small city open to maritime transactions with foreign countries. The Portuguese completely destroyed Anfa in 1468. Under the rule of the Alaouite dynasty and Sultan Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah, the city resurfaces and becomes the White House.
During the Second World War, its port becomes a strategic place and welcomed many diplomats, this being a key point for business. This economic development is intensified by the port activity and attracts national and international investors, giving rise to the modern city became today the economic capital of the Kingdom.
Places of Interest
The Sqala is a fortified bastion erected in the 18th century which was a defensive post although it is now a café.
Near the port and the Plaza de las Naciones is the medina which is distinguished from other Moroccan medinas by its atypical style, a mixture of Arab-Muslim and colonial architecture.
In the center of the city, the legacy of the “crazy years”, the 20’s and 30’s, which were the theater of unique architectural expressions, is surprising.
To the southeast of the city, the Habous neighborhood, a charming district made up of narrow streets, small squares and stone arcades. It is home to numerous bazaars and craft shops.
The “Mahkama” building hosted the court sessions as well as the Pasha receptions. The decoration of its courtyards and rooms alludes to all the riches of Moroccan art and reminds us of the ancient Andalusian palaces.
The Hassan II Mosque is the largest in the world after the Mecca Mosque and the Medina. This religious building has a perfectly symmetrical rectangular prayer room on the ground floor, supported by seventy-eight granite, marble and onyx pillars. The roof tiles are emerald green.
Beautifully decorated by craftsmen from all over Morocco, the building is worthy of admiration: frescoes and mosaics of geometric shapes, carved and painted wood, stuccoes with inextricable drawings… It opens its doors to non-Muslims and guided tours are organized every day in the Mosque except on Fridays and during prayer hours.
Events and festivals
Casablanca, the young and dynamic city, hosts and organises numerous events of great worldwide reference.
The Casablanca Festival: In July, musical artists from all over the world put on an unusual show for the public.
L’Boulevard des Jeunes Musiciens: This is a festival of urban music that enables the new generation of musicians to reach a wider audience.
Theatre and Culture Festival: Performances that offer a meeting point for exchange and confrontation with creations from different countries.
The International Casablanca Marathon: More than 42 km that run through the city and that marathon runners from all over the world take advantage of to get to know the city in a peculiar way.
Things To Do in Casablanca
Visit the Aquaparc Tamaris, the largest water park in Morocco.
Golf for golf lovers, you will find a paradise at the Royal Golf of Anfa.
Spa and thalassotherapy for those seeking relaxation and well-being. The properties of seawater and algae bring benefits to body and mind in relaxation and beauty centres.
Shopping for all tastes. From the Moroccan handicraft tradition to the big international luxury brands, they are a real attraction for shopping lovers.
The best international, creative and sophisticated gastronomy. Treasures for the palate that arise from the perfect blend of Mediterranean flavor with the exotic flavors of the Far East.
If you have a couple of days, check out our 2 day itinerary for Casablanca.