Casablanca, the city that never sleeps
Anchored in the present while contemplating the future, the economic capital of the Kingdom is in perpetual effervescence. Formerly known as Anfa, in the 12th century it used to be an active trading port, which became a coveted provincial capital from the 13th to the 15th century. It was only in the 18th century, after a long hiatus, with the advent of the Alaouite Sultan Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah, that the city was reborn to become Dar El-Beida, literally “the white house”.
Casablanca undoubtedly possesses the richest architectural heritage in Morocco; several styles coexist: Hispano-Moorish mixed with Art Deco, Art Nouveau and Neo-Classicism. You can easily visit the city on your own, simply by following its architectural heritage. You may choose to close with a visit to the Hassan II Mosque, one of the largest in the world, whose laser beam points in the direction of Mecca. You may also choose to have a stroll in the Habous district (named after the traditional religious assembly that organizes the allocation of housing within the medina), a living example of reconstruction of a modern medina, in the respect of Arab-Maghreb traditions and architectural styles.
Another place to visit in the vicinity of the port is the bastion of the Sqala (Latin scale), an 18th century fortified complex built by Mohammed Benabdallah to protect the city from foreign invasions. It is inspired by the system of 16th century fortifications dear to Vauban. Today, this place has become a popular café facing the ocean, the Café Maure, where walkers come to seek calm after the hustle and bustle of the medina.
The cornice of Casablanca, in constant renovation, its marina, its port and its business districts remind us of its vocation and its status as the economic capital of the Kingdom. It is also in its part adjacent to the hill of Anfa, a high point of Casablanca’s nightlife. It should also be noted that the cornice promenade is home to Hotel d’Anfa, known for having hosted the Anfa or Casablanca Conference in January 1943, where the Allies’ policy for the post-war period was decided.