The Old Medina as it is now, surrounded with bastions which extended until the Place Mohammed V, With a number of labyrinth of alleys, and many Arch stone gates which allow you to gain entry , there are – Bab el-Jedid “The new door” and Bab Marrakech “The door of Marrakech” -, was largely built in the 19th century. Old Medina is probably the most attractive place for the tourists than any other place in the city. The history of Casablanca dates back to far, probably to the prehistory. With the passing of the centuries, It underwent many influences: Christians, Jewish, Roman, Phoenician, Arabic and Berbers then European indeed American.
The Sacré-Coeur Cathedral is a fascinating work of architecture built in 1930 when Morocco was still under the rule of Catholic France. Designed by the French architect Paul Tournon, who also designed several churches in France, it represents an interesting experiment in the decorative use of cast concrete. The imposing church is built in a Neo-Gothic style with clear Art Deco and Moroccan Muslim influences. The twin towers flanking west front look like square minarets, and the small windows that pierce the upper parts of the cathedral would be at home in any mosque. The external buttresses along the roof have sharp right angles instead of the usual curves.
Visit to Hassan II Mosque:
Inspired by the Qur’anic verse stating that the throne of God is built upon the water, King Hassan II built his mosque to hang dramatically over the Atlantic. The 210m minaret is the tallest in the world, and quite literally testifies to the heights of human creativity. The mosque itself is the third largest in the world, outdone only by the wonders of Mecca and Medina. Designed by Frenchman Michel Pinseau, construction began in 1986 and continued for six years, as 2500 craftsman carved, painted, and gilded the masterpiece. All the materials were locally produced, except for the 56 Venetian glass chandeliers and the Carrera marble that surrounds the mahrib, the prayer niche that points to Mecca.
Souvenirs from Quartier Habous:
Some of the best shopping for Moroccan arts and crafts can be done in the Quartier Habous, a “new medina” built by the French in the 1920s. The pedestrian-friendly streets are wide, the green lawn in front of the mosque is welcoming, and the commercial arcades are hemmed by orderly stalls selling teapots, trays, carpets, clothing, and the typical array of Moroccan specialties. Shopping here is a more tranquil experience than new Traditional Medina.For fans of the bustle and chaos of traditional markets, it may feel too sanitised to be authentic, but if you fancy some Moroccan character without the associated smells and hassle, it’s got a decent selection of bazaars, craft shops, bakeries and cafés.
Dinner at Rick’s Cafe:
A shrine to the movie Casablanca, this nod to American culture has Fès-capped waiters serving pricey and decadent dishes to swarms of tourists. During the day, the beautiful cafe is a Wi-Fi hotspot; the live piano music starts after dinner, and the lounges and terrace stay open for the crowd to enjoy themselves. Although Rick’s famous cheesecake is a let-down, you’ll tip your fedora, or your Fez hat to the ambience. Play it again Sam, indeed. Follow the port road away from the center until the end of the medina walls. Signs point to Rick’s on the left.
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