Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city, is known for the iconic movie with Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart, and as a commercial powerhouse on the Atlantic Ocean. However, it’s perhaps most remarkable for the incredible variety of architectural design on show in the city. A legacy of the city’s French colonial past, its wide boulevards contain Mauresque architecture—a combination of Moorish style and European Art Deco. The diverse skyline offers something for every taste when visiting the city on a leisure or business trip.
A new design icon in Casablanca
The dizzying array of impressive architecture in Casablanca has been joined by a notable new addition: the new Radisson Blu Hotel Casablanca City Center. Nestled alongside beautiful examples of Art Deco buildings on the Mohammed V boulevard, the renowned Chilean architect Jaime Bereiestain is responsible for its daring and sophisticated design. Bright and atmospheric spaces make the ideal setting for weekend stays, conferences, weddings and more while the Caprice Sky Bar, with its refreshing pool and DJ, is the city’s new premier cocktail destination. With 120 sophisticated rooms and suites, the hotel features ten paintings and sculptures from the Moroccan artist Mohamed Melehi, who has developed an artistic style that integrates local culture into western modernism.
Read on to discover six more architectural hotspots you’ve got to check out while staying in Casablanca.
Hassan II Mosque
The largest mosque in Morocco, this stunning building took more than seven years and 10,000 artisans to finish. Combining grandeur and intricacy, it’s one of the most celebrated sites in the whole city. Admire its impressive columns, horseshoe arches, enormous dome and the ornate muqarnas (vaulting) on the ceilings.
Of all the film joints in all the towns in all the world, you’ll want to walk to this one! An eight-minute stroll from our hotel, Cinéma Rialto is an Art Deco gem built in 1929 and has a splendid red and white facade. With 1,300 seats inside, it’s still going strong as a place to watch a movie in stylish surroundings.
The tallest buildings in Morocco, these two 115-meter towers are asymmetric modern pieces of architecture that soar above the city. Created with marble, plaster, and ceramic tiles, the high-tech, minimalist design can be gazed at from afar or seen from Bar 28 on the top floor, where you can also drink in panoramic views.
Nobody does grandeur like royalty, which is why the Royal Palace of Casablanca should be on your ‘to-do’ list. The palace lies in the beautiful Habous Quarter, just 1.5km from the Radisson Blu Hotel Casablanca Center. While you can’t go inside the massive complex, you can certainly appreciate the colorful and opulent style of the outer gate, walls and the palace entrance.
Mahkama du Pacha
This Moorish-style courthouse, which you’ll also find in the Habous Quarter, has particularly breathtaking interiors. The elegant government building boasts a carved cedar wood ceiling, white marble columns and exquisite colorful tile mosaics. It’s a popular tourist attraction, so be prepared to queue to enter this incredible construction.
Sacre Coeur Cathedral
What could be more photogenic than an abandoned cathedral? This distinctive all-white building was never actually the seat of a bishop, but it’s an impressive sight nonetheless. Designed by French architect Paul Tournon in Neo-Gothic style, its two towers with bell chambers flank the arched main entrance to create an imposing and memorable sight.