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Notes on the Geography of Morocco: Casablanca: Photo 7

world pictures Morocco: Casablanca

Here's a partial view of the old city from one of the hotel's windows.

Interested in cultural heritage? Then you have a problem. The arcade was designed in 1939 by Antoine Marchisio, a French architect who headed France's architectural services in Morocco from 1922 until 1947. Until at least the 1930s the old city sprawled in this direction, and the wide street here, the Avenue des F.A.R. or Avenue of the Royal Armed Forces, did not exist until 1952. You'll have to throw out also the massive Hassan II mosque in the distance. It's on the coast and was completed in 1993. Ditto the Marina business district and its highrise cluster, built even more recently on fill that separates the old city from the ocean on which it used to front. That leaves the old city's buildings, most of which did not exist when the French landed.

Now you know why residents of Fez and Marrakech look at Casa the way San Franciscans used to look at Los Angeles. So gauche! So rude!

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