The sun casts a dusty pink dusk as it dips beneath the horizon. The Boulevard de la Corniche snakes between nightclubs and restaurants, and the gushing ocean, lapping over a seemingly endless ribbon of beach.
In the near distance the Hassan II Mosque gazes over the Atlantic Ocean, steadfast. Completed in 1993, it is the largest mosque in Morocco, with the tallest minaret in the world.
As a port city, Casablanca has absorbed diverse cultures until their very walls can be read as if a history book. The buildings shrink where the original Spanish and Portuguese medieval streets once were, wrinkled into narrow, winding roads. Through a bab, the old medina can be reached, enclosed by a wall with eight gates.
Then, the city grows tall again in the east, where French art deco buildings make up the administrative centre. The understated Habbous quarter consists of white-washed homes, purpose built in the early 20th century to accommodate an influx of migrants. Villa des Arts is a particular joy in the Gauthier quarter. Built in 1934, the stunning villa is now a gallery housing contemporary international and Moroccan art.
Each architectural feature has been infused with the Moorish love of symmetry and pattern. There is no greater acknowledgement of diversity and heritage, sustaining the city’s romance and intrigue.