Casablanca, Morocco

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Although Casablanca lies on the Atlantic Ocean and not the Mediterranean, our travels included this port of call, so we include it here. Morocco lies only 13 kilometers from Spain across the Gibraltar Strait. Casablanca is Morocco's largest city and chief port.

      

Although not as grand as Morocco's imperial cities (Marrakech, Fez, Meknes and Rabat) Casablanca has its own charm as a combination of Moorish village, Portuguese seaport, and French colonial showcase.

Under the king of Morocco's supervision, Casablanca is undergoing a major cultural and architectural transformation. Shopping malls, residential complexes, and a marina are in the works.

Surrounding Place Mohamed V, are buildings from the 1900's French Colonial era including the Mahkama du Pacha, the Wilaya and the Grande Poste office.

CasArts, a new performing arts center, under construction during our visit, will open soon.

In the Souk marketplace, vendors sell spices, olives, hookahs, lamps, silver jewellery, sandals and Arabic dresses called Galabey.

On street corners there can be various merchants such as fruit-growers, water-sellers, knife-sharpeners, tea-brewers or herbalists.

The old medina is an intriguing area of narrow lanes, tree-shaded squares and well-frequented local cafes.

Carpet weaving and selling are deeply embedded traditions.

The city's French colonial legacy is seen in its downtown Mauresque architecture, a blend of Moorish style and European art deco.

United Nations Square is an important gathering place marking the intersection of the old medina and the modern European construction.

      

There is an air of hustle, disorder and grime that frightens some tourists, but beneath these, we found hidden beauties and kind-hearted people.

The Hassan II Mosque is the main attraction in Casablanca. Built in the 1990's, it is the largest mosque in Africa, and has the  highest minaret in the world.

 

    details of the tiled minaret

  

details of the ablutions room

details of the ornate interior
 

                            The Mosque highlights the exquisite materials and skilled workmanship of Morocco's artisans.

The Museum of Islamic Art displays painting, tile, and woodwork characteristic of Islamic visual arts.

The busy port of Casablanca can handle 35 large ships at one time as well as serving as a landing for a fleet of small fishing trawlers.

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This site was last updated 07/27/19