Clock Tower and Medina Gate, Casablanca

Clock Tower and Medina Gate, Casablanca

Charles Martial Joseph Dessigny, it has been said, had a sort of obsession. He really liked towers. He was a military man, Army of France. He'd had served in Ain Sefra, in Algeria, where he had built a fine clock tower. When he was done with the artillery bombardment in Casablanca, he would build another tower, just like the one before.

He occupied Casablanca, took charge of the French department of public facilities and ordered the construction of the tower. He acted so fast the tower was completed before 1912, when the French Protectorate of Morocco became official. It was brilliant. A tower to rival the minarets, it signified the dawn of French power in Morocco.

The tower looked very like a minaret. It was square-based, like a minaret. It had four round clock faces with roman numerals. Over the years the tower became unstable. It was demolished in 1948. But not to worry. A duplicate tower was built nearby in 1993.

Walking through the old city between central Casablanca and the mosque of Hassan II, in the northeast corner of United Nations Square, discover the copy of Dessigny's beloved tower. Next to the tower is the Old Medina Gate. Most shops or stalls to be found will be close to the gate. The Medina has undergone much renovation and is now mainly residential.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Casablanca. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Clock Tower and Medina Gate on Map

Sight Name: Clock Tower and Medina Gate
Sight Location: Casablanca, Morocco (See walking tours in Casablanca)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Casablanca, Morocco

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Leo Africanus, an Andalusi diplomat and travel writer of the 16th century, declared the Moroccan city of Casablanca to be the site of the ancient Berber city of Anfa, founded in 744 AD. Anfa was a city of the Berber kingdom of Barghawata. The independence of the kingdom ended in 1068 when it was conquered by the Arab Almoravids.

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
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Although the Old Town (Medina) of Casablanca is not as ancient as that of the imperial cities like Fez or Marrakech, it is well worth seeing all the same. The historic heart of the city, rather modest in size – measuring some 50 hectares, is made up of three parts: the Medina proper; the Jewish quarter, or Mellah, with the Ettedgui Synagogue in it; and the popular quarter called Tnaker.

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 Km or 1.2 Miles

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