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Casablanca

Country
Morocco
State
Casablanca
City
Casablanca
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

Casablanca is a city in western Morocco, located on the Atlantic Ocean.It is the capital of the Grand Casablanca region.Casablanca is Morocco's largest city as well as its chief port.It is also the biggest city in the Maghreb.The 2004 census recorded a population of 2,949,805 in the prefecture of Casablanca and 3,631,061 in the region of Grand Casablanca.Casablanca is considered the economic and business center of Morocco, while the political capital city of Morocco is Rabat.

Casablanca hosts headquarters and main industrial facilities for the leading Moroccan and international companies based in Morocco.Industrial statistics show Casablanca retains its historical position as the main industrial zone of the country.The Port of Casablanca is one of the largest artificial ports in the world, and the largest port of North Africa.It is also the primary naval base for the Royal Moroccan Navy.he Latinized name of the city is a Spanish word combination meaning 'White House' (blanca, 'white;' casa, 'house').It is thought that the Spaniards adopted the name from Portuguese Casa Branca. The city is now nicknamed Casa by many locals.Casablanca is located in the Chawiya plain which has historically been the breadbasket of Morocco.

Apart from the Atlantic coast, the Bouskoura forest is the only natural attraction in the city.The forest was planted in the 20th century and consists mostly of Eucalyptus and Pine trees.It is located half way to the city's international airport.The only watercourse in Casablanca is Oued Bouskoura, a small seasonal creek that until 1912 reached the Atlantic Ocean near the actual port.Most of Oued Bouskoura's bed has been covered due to urbanization and only the part south of El-Jadida road can now be seen.The closest permanent river to Casablanca is Oum Er-Rbia River 70 km (43.50 mi) to the south-east.

Casablanca was an important strategic port during World War II and hosted the Casablanca Conference in 1943, in which Churchill and Roosevelt discussed the progress of the war. Casablanca was the site of a large American air base, which was the staging area for all American aircraft for the European Theater of Operations during World War II.Morocco gained independence from France on March 2, 1956.In 1930, Casablanca hosted a Grand Prix.The race was held at the new Anfa Racecourse. In 1958, the race was held at Ain-Diab circuit - (see Moroccan Grand Prix). In 1983, Casablanca hosted the Mediterranean Games.The city is now developing a tourism industry. Casablanca has become the economic and business capital of Morocco, while Rabat is the political capital.



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How to Reach

By Air

Casablanca's main airport is Mohammed V International Airport, Morocco's busiest airport.Regular domestic flights serve Marrakech, Rabat, Agadir, Oujda, and Tangier, Laayoune as well as other cities.Casablanca is well served by international flights to Europe, especially French and Spanish airports, and has regular connections to North American, Middle Eastern and sub-Saharan African destinations.New York, Dakar and Dubai are important primary destinations.The older, smaller Casablanca-Anfa Airport to the west of the city, that served certain destinations including Damascus, and Tunis, was largely closed to international civilian traffic in 2006.It currently services domestic flights and freight.

By Train

Casablanca is served by two rail stations run by the national rail service, the ONCF. The main long haul station is Casa-Voyageurs, from which trains run south to Marrakech or El Jadida and north to Mohammedia and Rabat, and then on either to Tangier or Meknes, Fes, Taza and Oujda.A dedicated airport shuttle service to Mohammed V International Airport also has its primary in-city stop at this station, for connections on to further destinations.The second station, Casa-Port, serves primarily commuter trains running the Casablanca - Kenitra corridor, with some connecting trains with running on to Gare de Casa-Voyageurs.

By Taxi

Registered taxis in Casablanca are coloured red and known as petits taxis (small taxis), or coloured white and known as grands taxis (big taxis).As is standard Moroccan practice, petits taxis, typically small-four door Fiat Uno or similar cars, provide metered cab service in the central metropolitan areas. Grands taxis, generally older Mercedes-Benz sedans, provide shared mini-bus like service within the city on pre-defined routes, or shared inter-city service.Grands Taxis may also be hired for private service by the hour or day, although typically only foreigners do so.

By Bus

CTM coaches (intercity buses) and various private lines run services to most notable Moroccan towns as well as a number of European cities.These run from the Gare Routière on Rue Léon l'Africain in downtown Casablanca.

Key places to visit
Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca Cathedral, Casablanca Twin Center, Casablanca Technopark, Shrine of Sidi Abderrahman, Old Medina, The Corniche, Mahkama du Pacha


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Places to Visit

Hassan II Mosque

Is a religious buildings in Casablanca, Morocco, the largest mosque in the country and the fifth largest mosque in the world after the Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) of Mecca and the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (Prophet's Mosque) in Medina.It was designed by the French architect Michel Pinseau and built by Bouygues.It stands on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic, and has room for 25,000 worshippers.A further 80,000 can be accommodated in the mosque's adjoining grounds for a total of 105,000 worshippers present at any given time at the Hassan II mosque.Its minaret is the world's tallest at 210 m (689 ft).

Casablanca Cathedral

Is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in Casablanca, Morocco.It was built in 1930. It ceased to function as a church in 1956, after the independence of Morocco, and became a cultural center.The cathedral was designed by French architect Paul Tournon using the Neo-Gothic style.

Casablanca Twin Center

Is a complex of two skyscrapers located at Casablanca, Morocco.The two structures, the West Tower and the East Tower have 28 floors each.It is a complex of shops, offices and a 5 star hotel.It lies at the heart of Casablanca more precisely district Maarif, At the crossroads Zerktouni Boulevard - Boulevard Al Massira Al Khadra.Above the shopping center (including a supermarket Acima and many shops) which includes 5 levels (the largest shopping center in Africa at present), are two towers, the West Tower (or Tower A) and The East Tower (or Tower B).The architect was the Spanish Catalan Ricardo Bofill Levi.

Casablanca Technopark

Is an information technology Business cluster complex located at Casablanca, Morocco.It was inaugurated in October 2001.It is Morocco's first industrial park.The project is under the supervision of Ministry of Commerce, Industry and ICT and has Omar Balafrej as its general manager.Its mission is dedicated to enhance the development of information technology in Morocco.Its main specialties are software engineering and IT ventures.

Shrine of Sidi Abderrahman

Is built on a rock off shore, well past The Corniche, and is only accessible at low tide.The shrine itself is off-limits to non-muslims, but visitors are permitted to explore the tiny, medina-like neighborhood that has sprung up around it.A better bet is to walk to it along the beach and catch a view of the beautiful white walls before catching a cab to less remote areas.

Old Medina

There is a small traditional walled town in the north of Casablanca.If you are in town it's be worth a visit, but it's nothing compared to the glories of Fes or Marrakesh.

The Corniche

Is a neighborhood on the ocean, west of the Hassan II Mosque.Decades ago, it was a thriving resort area - hotels line the ocean side of the Boulevard de la Corniche, and nightclubs line the other side. Most look like they've seen better days, but it's almost disorienting in how much it resembles the New Jersey Shore.Along the Boulevard de l'Ocean Atlantique are many newer, fancier hotels.The Corniche is also home to many western fast food chains.A new western-style movie theater can also be found here, but the best option is to walk up and down the street, resting at one of the many ocean-view cafes.

Mahkama du Pacha

This is a Hispanic-Moorish building comprised of more than 60 ornate rooms with delicately carved wooden ceilings.There are many stuccoes and intricate wrought-iron railings as well as beautifully tiled floors. While entrance may be free it is not easy to get in.You need to find a guide to accompany you. Ask around especially if you speak some French it is worth it.(Open: Mon-Sat 8:00-12:00 & 14:00-18:00) To get there take bus 81 on Boulevard de Paris.

Right Time to Visit

November - March
April - June

Temperature

Information not available


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