Casablanca (الدار البيضاء) addar Al-baïda in classical Arabic - dar beïda as a dialectal Morrocan - literally “White House” is the biggest city of Morocco. The country’s economic capital, located on the Atlantic coast at approximately 80 km south of the country’s capital city Rabat. It is the country’s first city and agglomeration in terms of population.
Casablanca owes its name to the fact that, formerly, Spanish sailors who went along this place, identified it by a small white house perched on Anfa hill, « La Casa Bianca ». One thing leading to another and with local idioms, it eventually gave Casablanca.
The name of Anfa is found in texts of XIth century, founded at that time by the – Zénètes, the African Berbers. Leon the African has also mentioned it in the XVth century as a small town. In reprisals, the Portuguese, at the end of the century, decided to attack it with the help of 50 ships and 10.000 men. Anfa residents, not being able to defend the city, deserted to Rabat and Salé. The city has been destroyed and has remained uninhabited during three centuries.
|In 1770, the sultan Mohamed Ben Abdallah decides to rebuild this place to preserve it from the Portuguese landing wich had then just lost the town of Mazagan (El Jadida). The city is called Dar El Beida -White House or in Spanish casa blanca-. From the start, the sultan has equipped it with a mosque, a medersa and a hammam.
Since the XIXth century, the city has developed thanks to the boom of textile industry where Casablanca has become one of the largest wool providers. In 1860 there were 4.000 residents compared to 9.000 at the end of 1880. The city thus has decided to obtain a modern port with the help of France. The Population in 1921 become 110.000 due mainly to shantytowns.
Conference of Casablanca in 1943 between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill.
In June 1907, the French developed the railway network close to the port but the aforementioned passed through a cemetery, which resulted in riots between French workers and the residents. France sent troops to restore the command and took control of the city then began the process of colonization. During 1940 and 1950, many anti-occupation riots took place of which an attack at the central market of Casablanca on Christmas Day of 1953 -18 dead.
Geography and urbanization
The metropolis is delimited by the sea in the west but extends more and more to the north in the east and the south. It is also marked by a great concentration of shantytowns in its periphery, which pushed the government to launch policies having for aim the total suppression of this phenomenon which still corrodes the city in 2012.
The urbanization and the architecture of Casablanca are marked by various styles, energy of the neo-Moorish until art-deco, since it was during several decades a “laboratory city” for the great architects of the world. In addition, the city saw the multiplication of gigantic projects, like mosque Hassan II -in the Eighties and the “Marina of Casablanca” seems to attract more and more real estate investors.
- Ain borja
- 2 Mars
- Centre Ville
- Derb Ghallef
- Derb Sultan Al Fida
- El Hank
- Hay Mohammadi
- Ben M’Sik
- Moulay Rachid
- Mers Sultan
- Roches Noires
- Sidi Bernoussi
- Sidi Moumen
- Sidi Maârouf
- Sidi Othmane
- Ain Sebaâ
- Ain Chock
- Hay Hassani
- Sidi Belyout
The large Hassan-II mosque of Casablanca was built between 1986 and 1993. It is the second largest mosque in the world - after Mecca, and the tallest minaret in the world -200 m.
Places to visit
- Ligue Arabe and Yasmina Park
- La Villa des Arts Museum
- Place Mohammed- V: around this place rises up the wilaya of Casablanca whose nice-tower of Tuscan inspiration attracts the glances, Palais de justice of arabo-Andalusian inspiration and the large water fountain.
- Mosque Hassan II, second largest mosque in the world, highest minaret in the world.
- The medina (Bab Marrakch)
- Many facades “Art deco”, in particular along avenue Mohammed-V, boulevard 11 janvier …
- Central market
- The cliff road and its beaches (Ain Dieb)
- The marabout of Sidi Abderrahman
- Derb Ghallf, a large flea market, a kind of Ali Baba cave in the open air.
- Boulevard Festival of young musicians, annual festival of music concert in Casablanca
- Festival of Casablanca, annual festival organized by the municipality.