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Baltic Cruises

About Casablanca

Steeped in romance and history, Casablanca lures visitors with its heady mix of neo-Moorish splendor and French influence. Known simply as “Casa” to locals, its streets exude an atmosphere of bygone days. Made famous by the 1942 film named for the city, today it is one of Africa’s most important ports. Parisian-style boulevards gracefully unfold past cafés and colonial buildings. French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of The Little Prince, is said to have sipped coffee in a Casablanca café between his trans-Sahara flights. Perhaps the most prominent legacy of French occupation is the massive white Casablanca Cathedral, a neo-Moorish masterwork built in 1930 for the European Roman Catholic population. Remarkably, the Habous Quarter also has a French influence: It was built in 1917 by a French architect to resemble an authentic medina. Still, it is fully Moroccan, a maze of warrens pulsing with old-world energy, the hollers of carpet merchants and the fragrance of incense. The city’s most impressive structure is the Hassan II Mosque, the country’s largest and most magnificent. Visible from anywhere in the city, it features a 60-story minaret and has room for more than 100,000 worshippers.