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City Background

  • Originally, Anfa, a 7th century Berber city, Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco, is a place of mystery and romance, a thrilling mixture of old and new: it is a cocktail with just the right blend of danger, chance and excitement.


  • Casablanca grew from a small village into a teeming city only 150 years ago. Because of its many conquests, it inevitably became a cosmopolitan melting-pot of cultures (including American, French, German, Czech, Norwegian, Bulgarian and Russian).


  • It has been both a busy port, a fortress and a cultural visit the below for more information. The name “Casa Blanca”, or “white house” in Portuguese, was coined by medieval Portuguese conquerors who destroyed the city and then built it up into a fortress.  Its Arabic name, Dar al Baïda, is a translation of the Portuguese!


  • The city has seen everything from pirates (for whom it was a veritable paradise!) to earthquakes (which caused the Portuguese to abandon it in the 18th century).


  • By 1910, Casablanca was under French control, and all because of a squabble between the locals and the French, over the building of a railway via graveyard between the local and the French. It remained a colonial subject until it gained its independence in 1956.


  • Casablanca’s Hassan II Mosque boasts the tallest minaret in the world. Website  the city is like travelling in time between modern boutiques and old medina streets – it is a capital in everything except designation.


  • If you happen to find yourself in Casablanca today, you can even go to a replica of Ricks’s café, where the pianist will play ‘As time goes by’ at your request!