Eight miles is all that separates Europe and Africa at the Mediterranean’s narrowest point, between Gibraltar and Tangier, Morocco. This North African nation is often forgotten about when considering a holiday to the Mediterranean, but those who visit are greeted with a combination of the finest elements of Europe and the Arab world.
Pullmantur cruises can carry you a short distance from the southernmost tip of Europe to the Moroccan city of Casablanca. The largest city of Morocco and the second largest city on the African continent is home to stunning mosques, a walled town and a fantastic beach. This week, we take a closer look at everything Casablanca has to offer.
Architecture and Culture
To understand the architecture of Casablanca, it is first necessary to have an understanding of the history of Morocco. Casablanca was originally founded by Berber fishermen in the 10th Century BC and it was used a strategic port until the Portuguese conquered in the 15th century and built a fortress in 1515. It was later abandoned following an earthquake in 1755 which destroyed most of the town. It was later occupied by the French, who started construction of the ville nouvelle, but it became independent, along with the rest of Morocco, in 1956.
Casablanca maintains a lot of its history, whilst also showing signs of becoming an emerging economic zone. Within this city you will find art galleries showcasing the best contemporary art and fashion designers showcasing the latest trends. At the same time, you will also be able to visit perhaps the oldest monument within the city, the Dar el Bahar Portuguese fortress.
The fortress backs onto the old city, where you will find the walled town, Marrakech gate and the huge clock tower. This is also home to the old medina, the seed of the city – where Casablanca’s development began and continues to this day. Today, the palm trees that line the streets are a sign of the French chic that has been applied to Casablanca. No more is this apparent than at the Place Mohamed V, the central plaza of the city. This beautiful square filled with lush green gardens and a central fountain – making it very romantic place for a leisurely stroll.
You’ll soon fall in love with the charm of Casablanca, should you decide to visit one of the many markets. Here, you will find everything from colourful footwear and designer labels, to unusual herbs and even grand pianos. The beautiful and flavoursome aromas that fill the air represent the spices of traditional Moroccan cuisine.
No stop in Casablanca would be complete without a visit to the King Hassan II Mosque – the third largest in the world. Open to the general public, the mosque features stunning interior that will take your breath away. It houses water features, a roof that opens up to the sky and even a huge hammam (Turkish bath) in the basement.
Round off your visit to Casablanca by relaxing on the beautiful beachfront district that is Corniche. With temperatures consistently high all year round, there’s never a bad time to head to the beach and soak up the sun’s rays.
Whatever you decide to do during your time in the hidden gem that is Casablanca, you can appreciate it all with Pullmantur Cruises. We operate cruises around the world to popular destinations in the Mediterranean, Iberia and the Caribbean, as well as untouched destinations such as Iceland and the Norwegian fjords.Tweet