Casablanca, dazzling on and off the screen! You’ve probably watched the film “Casablanca” more than once and even know some of its famous quotes, but what do you know about the actual city? Casablanca is famous for its exceptional beauty, and besides being the economic capital of Morocco, it’s proud to be known as the capital of tourism as well. The mystic bond between old and modern gives Casablanca a unique charm.
To find that mix of old and new scattered across the city from bars and nightclubs to the traditional medina, kick back, relax and read these interesting facts about Casablanca…
Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco with a population of 3.5 million or 11% of the total population of Morocco.
Annually visited by 1.2 million visitors, the city offers millions of years of distinctive landmarks, unique architectural style streets, and an old city that stands up to today.
Casablanca is the economic and commercial capital of Morocco.
In terms of population, Casablanca is the first city in Morocco, and the third in Africa, after Lagos and Cairo.
Casablanca is well-known for its architectural art that mixes the old with its low and regular buildings, and modern with high-rise and luxurious buildings.
Casablanca’s commercial centre has many companies, banks, money houses, hotels, and public parks.
The origin of Casablanca is unknown.
In the 12th century, a Berber village named Anfa stood on the present-day site of the city.
It became a pirates’ base for pursuing Christian ships and was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1468.
In 1515, the Portuguese came back to the area and built a new town called Casa Branca or “White House”.
A postcard showing “Gloire”, a French cruiser that fired at the city in August 1907
The city was deserted in 1755 after a devastating earthquake.
During the reign of Sultan “Sidi Muhammad bin Abdullah” (1757-1790) the city was rebuilt, and given the name “Casablanca” by the Spanish traders.
In 1907 Casablanca was occupied by the French and during the French protectorate, the city became the chief port of Morroco.
The port of Casablanca is the largest in Morocco. It’s a multifunctional port, specialized in trade, and it can receive and process 40 ships at the same time.
The Casablanca Stock Exchange is considered one of the most important in the region, and it is the first in the Arab Maghreb and the third in Africa, with a market value of $ 60 billion.
The international airport serving Casablanca, Mohammed V, accommodates 8.2 million passengers annually.
On the 27th of November, 2013, Casablanca joined the UNESCO World Heritage because it contains a human cultural heritage of special universal value.
Casablanca is home to the two most famous clubs, the Wydad Casablanca Sports Club, founded in 1937, and the Raja Casablanca Sports Club.
One of the most important cafes, the old “Excelsior” Café was designed in 1916.
One of the main tourist attractions in the city, the Al-Ajbas neighborhood, boasts of its architecture, inspired by the spirit of Arab, Islamic, and European architecture.
The 7th largest mosque in the world, Hassan II Mosque with its Andalusia minaret at a height of 210 meters, is the highest religious building in the world.
Casablanca’s promenade, Ain Diab Corniche, stretching along the beach, includes a series of beautiful pools, hotels, cafes, and restaurants.
With a length of 2 km, Mohammed V Street in Casablanca is characterized by buildings of French elegance.
Burj Dubai Casablanca Towers is a cohesive complex for business, shopping, tourism, and entertainment, with a luxury hotel and a complex of residential apartments.
Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on an area of 250000 m2, Morocco Mall has 350 shops offering products of 600 international brands, in addition to restaurants, recreational facilities, resting sites, and wide green areas.
Dating back to 1913, Arab League Garden, an urban park in Casablanca is designed in the style of French gardens with an area of 30 hectares.
The old city is a historic area bounded by a wall with several main gates. The Marrakesh Gate is one of the most famous areas for tourists in Casablanca despite its old age.
Marrakesh Gate incorporates historical monuments in the form of old mosques and antique houses.
Another important symbol of tourism in Casablanca is Bab Marrakesh, one of the gates of the old city and most Casablanca visitors go there for shopping or to learn about the history of the old city.
Mohammed V Square represents the heart of Casablanca. It’s distinguished by the presence of many pigeons on all its sides, and it attracts many tourists and visitors from different parts of the world.
North of Casablanca, the Mawazine Festival is a major attraction featuring musicians from all over the world.
Fish and seafood are a big part of Casablanca’s culinary flavor.
While in Casablanca try a grilled or fried mixed seafood plate which is typically served with lemon slices and olives.
Want to tell your friends you’ve been to Casablanca? Show them your Rick’s Café t-shirt, your souvenir from Casablanca! Even though there never was a Rick’s Café in Casablanca, due to the iconic 1940s film that brought it to life, a restaurant with the same name opened in 2004.
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about Casablanca that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!