Casablanca – former French colony and Hasan II mosque

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Contemporary metropolis at the Atlantic Ocean

Nowadays Casablanca with approximately 3.5 million inhabitants forms one of the four largest metropolises on the African continent. The history and development of the city is inextricably linked with Europeans.

Hasan II mosque

The most characteristic building of Casablanca is the Hasan II mosque, sending laser beams towards Mecca. It covers an area of 9 ha, two-thirds of which are literally over the ocean.

Hasan II mosque in Casablanca
Richly ornamented gallery for women

Hasan II mosque can accommodate up to 25,000 people and is one of the largest mosques in the world. However, personally I feel that despite the enormity of the building, the most impressive are the delicate, almost lace stucco and a beautiful cedar ceiling in its interior 🙂. See for yourself 🙂

Berber Anfa and Portuguese Casa Branca

In the 7th century there was a Berber settlement in the area of today’s Casablanca. It was probably Anfa, a city belonging to the Berber kingdom of Barghwata. In the 15th century Anfa gained independence, becoming at the same time a safe harbor for pirates and privateers. As a result, in 1468 a strong fleet under the command of the Portuguese prince Ferdinand attacked the local corsairs, which led to the destruction of the city.

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Decorative arcades and a large square in front of the mosque

In 1515, on the ruins of Anfa, the Portuguese built a fortified city called Casa Branca, which means “White House”. It was not until the powerful earthquake, which destroyed Lisbon in 1755 and also destroyed most of Casablanca’s buildings, that the Portuguese abandoned the city.

Muhammad V Square
French colony

In the 18th century, Casablanca, then known as Ad-Dār al-Bayḍā (the Arabic translation of the Portuguese Casa Branca), began to grow again as a commercial center. Its role increased in the mid-nineteenth century, when thanks to its port Casablanca became the main supplier of wool for the flourishing textile industry in Great Britain. Sugar and tea were also exported to Europe. Despite this, in 1906, when the French colonists appeared, the city had only 12,000. residents.

The French built a new colonial commercial port (as in other Moroccan cities), and began the expansion of the city (ville nouvelle) in the European style outside the walls of the medina. Under the French rule, the city’s population increased significantly and in 1921 it was 110,000 inhabitants, half of whom were Europeans.


Photographs of Casablanca

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If you like my photos, the story sounds interesting, or maybe I’ve inspired you to explore the world, feel free to like my page and leave a comment 🙂 or even visit my YouTube channel 🙂

Carly BB

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