Sam's Exotic Travels to Casablanca
Casablanca is a city in western Morocco, located on the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Grand Casablanca region. With a population of 3.3 million, Casablanca is Morocco's largest city as well as its chief port. It's also the biggest city in the Maghreb. 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.
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Hassan II Mosque - The brainchild and crowning achievement of King Hassan II, this phenomenal building is the world's third-largest mosque. It was built to commemorate the former king's 60th birthday and opened in 1993 giving Casablanca the heart and landmark it so sorely missed. The mosque rises above the ocean on a rocky outcrop reclaimed from the sea; taking literally the verse from the Quran that states that God's throne was built upon the water. It's a vast building that can hold 25,000 worshippers and accommodate a further 80,000 in the courtyards and squares around it. The mosque was designed by the French architect Michel Pinseau and is topped by a soaring 210m-tall minaret, which shines a laser beam towards Mecca by night. In addition to this high-tech call to prayer, the mosque also has a centrally heated floor, electric doors, a retractable roof and a section of glass flooring allowing the faithful to see the Atlantic washing the rocks below.
Place Mohammed V - The grand centerpiece of the French regeneration scheme, the vast square is surrounded by an impressive array of august administrative buildings, mostly designed by Henri Prost and Robert Marrast. The ancient prefecture (old police headquarters), dating from 1930, dominates the south side of the square and is topped by a modernist clock tower.
The Old Medina - The Old Medina (the part of town pre-dating the French protectorate) attracts fewer tourists than the medinas of other Moroccan towns, such as Fes and Marrakech. However, it has undergone some restoration in recent years. Included in this project have been the western walls of the medina, its skala, or bastion, and its colonial-period clock tower.
Royal Palace and La Nouvelle Medina District - Casablanca's Royal Palace is located in La Nouvelle Medina District, itself a picturesque setting. It seems there are several Royal Palaces, located in all major cities, but the palaces themselves are heavily guarded and off-limits to tourists. The only section of the palace viewable is the front, along with its richly ornate front doors. Other pictures are of nearby buildings.
People - the wonderful people of Casablanca.
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