Casablanca means “white house.” And, indeed, most of the buildings in this northwest African city are white. The place now occupied by Casablanca was once the seat of another city, called Anfa. But the Portuguese destroyed it in 1468. In 1515, the Portuguese built a new city with its present name, and Casablanca has been occupied ever since. Today it is home to about 3.7 million people.

Casablanca is the largest city in Morrocco and accounts for most of the country's industrial production. It is also famous for its Kasbah, or market place. Diane was busy looking for items characteristic of the area to purchase as gifts for folks back home.


A film was made in 1942 starring Clark Gable with the name of this city as its title. The mysterious city with its wartime intrigues became an indelible icon in American consciousness. Today, the city is a bustling, Western style city with reminders of its Muslim culture. This is one of the courts in Casablanca.

Casablanca came under French rule in 1907. In 1943, it hosted an important conference between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill. Its coastal location makes it an important city for sea trade.

The city is home to the Hassan II Mosque, the largest in the world. The interior is said to ccommodate some 20,000 people and the plaza outside can accommodate another 80,000. The minaret (tower) is 210 ft. high.

Despite its image as a largely conservative, sleepy Muslim nation, modern Morocco is one of the most prosperous countries in Africa. Its Islamic culture finds expression everywhere, of course. But one looks in vain for Rick’s Café, or bournouses and so forth. Some parts of Casablanca resemble more Beverly Hills than some desert feudal kingdom.


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