Casablanca Tourist Attractions
With an estimated population of 3,210,000, Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco. 60% of all Moroccan companies and almost every bank has headquarters here, making Casablanca the business capital of Morocco and one of the most important commercial centers in North Africa.
As such, the city is also the center for foreign trade and Morocco's main industrial center where construction materials, furniture and glass products are manufactured.Located near the capital city of Rabat, Casablanca is also the country's main Atlantic seaport with one of the world's largest man-made harbors featuring the 3,180 meter-long Moulay Youssef Jetty with fishing and fish-canning as the leading industries. The city is the site of Hassan II University, established in 1976.The origins of Casablanca trace to the medieval town of Anfa set on a small plateau which is now one of the city's suburbs. Anfa became the capital of a Berber principality in the aftermath of the Arab invasions of the seventh and eighth centuries. The Berbers embraced Islam but quickly succumbed to heretical doctrines, setting up their own prophet and a "qur'an" in Berber language.The principality was known as Berghouata and its tribal inhabitants joined a Kharijite rebellion against the Arab governor of Tangier. In the 11th century the Almoravids waged holy war against these heretics who were finally defeated by the Almohad Sultan Abdul Mou'min. The town came under the influence of the Merinids during the 13th century but eventually became independent as the dynasty weakened. It was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1468 in reprisal for piracy. They sent a fleet of 50 vessels and 10,000 soldiers to occupy the town which was sacked and then abandoned. But piracy soon revived and the Portuguese returned in 1515 and destroyed the town once again. In 1575 the town was rebuilt, fortified and renamed Casa Branca by the Portuguese in an attempt to establish control over the area.However, the Portuguese rulers fell under constant attack by surrounding Muslim tribes and were finally forced to abandon the town following a terrible earthquake in 1755. Under the reign of Sidi Mohamed ben Abdallah (1757-1790) the town was rebuilt with a mosque, madrasah, hammam and a fort and renamed Dar Al Beida (The White House) which the Spanish eventually translated as Casablanca/Dar Beida.
The Casablanca medina contains a labyrinth of streets and barbers, butchers, ironmongers and grocers.
Hassan II Mosque
The Hassan II Mosque, located on the shoreline just beyond the northern tip of the medina, dominates the entire city. The prayer hall can accommodate 25,000 of the faithful, and the esplanade another 80,000. It covers two hectares, has the world's tallest minaret (200 m/656 ft) and a retractable roof. The amount of decoration, plaster and wood used to construct this mosque is astonishing. It was completed in 1993.
Place Mohamed V
The Place Mohamed V has the post office, Palace of Justice, the Prefecture, the French Consulate and the Bank of Morocco all set around a central fountain. At night it becomes alive with lights and spectacle.
The central market in Casablanca offers fresh fish, fruits and vegetables, along with colorful flowers.
The corniche in Casablanca is an area for those who prefer the nightlife, with beaches and swimming pools, bars, restaurants and hotels.
Habbous Souk District
The Habbous district of Casablanca is filled with many types of souks selling variety of items including pastries, olives, fabric, shoes, antique shops, etc.
Mahkama du Pacha
The Mahkama du Pacha houses both the court of justice and reception rooms for state occasions.
Notre Dame de Lourdes
Nortre Dame de Lourdes church in Casablanca dates back to the 1950s. It is lit by a vast stained glass window covering over 800 sq. m/8,600 sq. ft.
The surroundings of Casablanca include Azemmour and the small village of Oualidia.
Ben Slimane is located east of Casablanca. It offers hiking and hunting opportunities in the Ziaïdas cork-oak forest, a nine hole golf course, and a lake occupied by carp and flocks of wild duck.
Marabout de Sidi Abderrahmane
The Marabout de Sidi Abderrahmane stands as a symbol of a holy man who is said to have miraculous healing powers. Many go in search of a cure, while others go just to see the site.This island is located off the coast of Casablanca
The Mohammedia resort offers beaches, luxury hotels, a racecourse, a yacht-club and an 18 hole golf course beside the sea. It is situated 28km/18mi north of Casablanca.
The oysters at Oualidia are reason enough to visit this small village turned resort town. After dinner, you can stroll along the beach.
The kasbah, built in 1710, is famous for its falconry.
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