Jolly Casablanca – the economic center of Morocco

Cities in Morocco. Casablanca

The most populous metropolis of Morocco, Casablanca, is located in the western part of the country, on the Atlantic coast. Its population is nearly three and a half million people. It is the second largest city of the African continent after Cairo. It emerged in the seventh century under the name “Anfa” and its first inhabitants were Berbers. In the first centuries of its existence, the future famous Moroccan resort was a small port, which in the Middle Ages was a haven for local pirates. In the 15th century, the Portuguese destroyed the pirates’ haven and completely destroyed the village and built a fort, which over the centuries turned into a thriving metropolis now visited by thousands of tourists from all over the world.

Casablanca has long been considered the business capital of Morocco. Dozens of reliable banks, thousands of businesses and organizations, more than a hundred comfortable and modern hotels, have for many years maintained the city’s stable reputation as one of the most prosperous cities in the world. Elegant Oriental architecture, refined Moslem mosques, traditional narrow streets of the old quarter and modern large-scale buildings harmoniously combine to form the current Casablanca image.

The city owes its global transformation in many ways to the French influence, which had a serious weight in the first half of the twentieth century. Regular sea voyages between Morocco and France were organized and an unremarkable port was transformed into the main economic center of the country. During the Second World War, Casablanca became an important strategic point in North Africa. It was here that the famous “Casablanca Conference” between Roosevelt and Churchill in 1943 took place, which influenced the course of the war. After the Casablanca Declaration of Independence in 1956 and French withdrawal from Casablanca, the city briefly plunged into chaos and financial instability, but twenty years later, thanks to the industrial growth and competent organization of the tourist infrastructure, it emerged from crisis and became one of the most successful cities in North Africa. Today, the city has excellent highways, a developed railway connection and large artificial harbors. A large part of Morocco’s import and export trade goes through Casablanca.

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Casablanca, Morocco

Casablanca, Morocco

The main cultural and religious attraction of the city is the Mosque of Hassan II, which was built for four years, according to the design developed by the French architect Michel Pinceau. It was erected in 1989, for the celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of the King of Morocco. This is the largest mosque in the country. The height of the minaret reaches 210 meters, and the total area for the prayer accommodates 105 thousand worshippers simultaneously. An interesting fact is the fact that, despite the end of construction in the late 80s, the mosque was opened only in 1993. It took another four years to process the interior, as well as for tiling and finishing the walls. About 15,000 people, including artists, builders, artisans and other craftsmen worked on the creation of this majestic architectural masterpiece. Chic marble floors, stone columns, and exquisite artistic mosaics form the mosque’s current appearance. All the building materials used in the process were brought from different regions of Morocco. No imported elements, except Italian chandeliers, were used during the construction of the mosque. The costs amounted to about 800 million dollars.

Today, Casablanca is a multinational, dynamic city. Thousands of tourists come here every year and mingle with the locals, creating a Babylon of different languages, cultures and traditions. Even the strict Muslim religion here gives a certain slackness. Local women here are divided into those who wear a veil and those who completely ignore it, preferring middle-length skirts, high heels and sunglasses. Of course, in Casablanca too there are many Islamic laws, but the punishment for misconduct is not so severe and is rarely applied here, in contrast to many Middle Eastern countries. All the same, the Europeanization of the metropolis has a significant impact both on the culture and the religion of this unique city.

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Casablanca has plenty of interesting sights, including the Sacré Coeur Cathedral, the Mahakma Pasha Palace, the City Hall, numerous fountains, exotic gardens and beautiful park areas. The center of nightlife is the area along the promenade Corniche, which concentrated all kinds of entertainment facilities, discos, nightclubs, bars and restaurants, which offer magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean. By its unusual entourage this Moroccan resort strongly resembles the image of Casablanca, reproduced in the same film by Michael Curtiz, filmed in the 40s of the last century.

The climatic conditions at the resort are quite mild. In summer the temperature can rise to +33 degrees, and in winter it drops to +10 degrees. Throughout the year, strong winds blow from the Atlantic. Largely because of this circumstance, the city beaches are not too good for swimming. High waves do not allow you to go far into the sea. For a comfortable beach holiday is more suitable sunny Agadir. However, the comfortable hotels in Casablanca welcome thousands of tourists every year, most of whom are young people who visit this fun and peculiar city in order to have a good time.

Jolly Casablanca – the economic center of Morocco

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Casablanca City in Morocco

Casablanca City in the Kingdom of Morocco

Casablanca is the economic center of Morocco, a major port and one of the leading commercial cities of North Africa. Casablanca is home to the main international airport and is the starting point of many travelers’ acquaintance with the country.

Unlike the ancient and colorful cities of Casablanca, Casablanca has a European flavor, much of the architecture is modern. The French influence is still very evident in the lifestyle of the Moroccans and, in this particular city, it is most noticeable.

The sights of the city at first glance, seem not so important, but the real gem of the country – the majestic mosque Hassan II, unequivocally, heads the list of top places in the kingdom. Six thousand craftsmen have worked for five years to create marble columns, frescoes, mosaics and other decorations.

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Casablanca is the economic center of Morocco, a major port and one of the leading commercial cities of North Africa. Casablanca is home to the main international airport and is the starting point of many travelers’ acquaintance with the country.

Unlike the ancient and colorful cities of Casablanca, Casablanca has a European flavor, much of the architecture is modern. French influence is still very evident in the lifestyle of Moroccans and it is in this city that it is most noticeable.

Book the best table at a restaurant overlooking the ocean and dine to the sound of crashing waves.

Hassan II Mosque The city of Casablanca in Morocco

Screenshots from the film Casablanca with Bergman

Hassan II mosque in Casablanca, Morocco

What things to do in Casablanca?

morocco fountain in morocco

For movie buffs, Casablanca is associated with the 1942 film of the same name. Apart from Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, the real star of the film was Rick’s Café, where the main action took place. The film was shot against a Hollywood backdrop but the cafe was so atmospheric that a duplicate was opened on the outskirts of the medina in 2004. Art deco interiors, bartenders in fezkas (traditional headdress), jazz music will transport you to the atmosphere of the movie.

Go to the modern art exhibition at Villa des Arts

Wander around the colonial area in a 1930s atmosphere.

Stop at a famous pastry shop to sample the Maghribian pastry cornes de gazelle (crescent-shaped pastry filled with almond paste and soaked in orange blossom water).

Dine at the atmospheric Rick’s Café to “As Time Goes By”.

– Stay the night in one of the homey blue riads and watch the sunrise on the rooftop.

– Stroll through the evening city and catch the perfect shot

– Taste the famous local farmhouse goat cheese

– Hike the best footpath in Africa in Talassemtane National Park

– Climb up to the Spanish Mosque and see the whole city from above

Hassan II mosque in Casablanca, Morocco

casablanca film

Hassan II mosque in Casablanca, Morocco

What things to do in Casablanca?

Moroccan fountain and mosaic zelije

Cinephiles associate Casablanca with the 1942 film of the same name. Apart from Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, the real star of the film was Rick’s Cafe, where the main action took place. The film was shot against a Hollywood backdrop but the cafe was so atmospheric that a duplicate was opened on the outskirts of the medina in 2004. Art deco interiors, barmen in fezkas (traditional headdress), jazz music will bring you into the atmosphere of the movie.

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Reserve the best table at the ocean view restaurant and dine to the sound of crashing waves.

Go to the modern art exhibition at Villa des Arts

Explore a colonial neighborhood with a ’30s vibe.

Stop at a famous pastry shop to sample the Maghribian pastry cornes de gazelle (crescent-shaped pastry filled with almond paste and soaked in orange blossom water).

Dine at the atmospheric Rick’s Café to “As Time Goes By

Casablanca hotels and riads

Casablanca is a poetic place on the coastal map of Morocco. The Casablanca photo is certainly the Atlantic Ocean with the Hassan II mosque in its background. It is one of the largest mosques in the world, and everyone can see its magnificent interiors. The city has picturesque and long coastlines, allowing you to truly enjoy the elements of water and stone. But Casablanca’s beaches are not at all suitable for swimming. So despite the fact that Casablanca is on the Atlantic coast, it is not recommended to consider this city for a beach holiday, because of its proximity to the port.

Luxury hotels in Casablanca, such as the Vichy or Four Seasons are for the discerning traveler, with indispensable spa programs combined with a Moroccan hamam. There are also more basic hotels at affordable prices. Leisure in Casablanca is primarily a sightseeing program, combining an immersion in French colonial chic. These are gourmet dinners in atmospheric cafes and restaurants. Casablanca’s airport is the first thing a tourist coming here learns about. It is located, however, between the city and the capital of the kingdom, Rabat. It takes about 3 hours to get to Marrakech from here by car and a little over 5 hours by train. Weather in Casablanca is most comfortable from September to November, as well as in spring before the heat of July. The climate is mild in autumn and spring, but in winter there are strong winds. Very hot and humid in the summer.

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