United Nations Square, Casablanca

United Nations Square, Casablanca

Central to its history of modern Casablanca is United Nations Square. It was once simply the Souq Kbir, a market square. Of the European powers, France, in particular, liked Casablanca very much and in 1908 France came to call.

The French commander, Charles Marechal Joseph Dessigny, said hello with an artillery barrage and an invasion. This was a tad rude, but now France had arrived in Morocco. To drive home the point, Dessigny ordered a clock tower built in what ultimately was to become United Nations Square.

The old Souq Kbir immediately was renamed "Square of the Clock." The name soon changed again to the more assertive, "Square of France." This gave everyone assurance of permanence. A planing group led by General Hubert Lyautey and architect Henri Prost soon gave the square and the town a thorough re-do.

At the south end of the square, Hippolyte Delaporte and August Perret erected their Magazins Paris-Moroc in 1914. Hubert Lyautey opened the new State Bank of Morocco on the northeastern side of the Square. The Bank is currently named Bank al-Maghrib. The neo-Moorish Hotel Exchelsior went up in 1916.

The clock tower was replaced by a copy tower in 1993. Several buildings on the square were demolished to make way for the Avenue of the Royal Armed Forces created by planner Michel Ecochard. Architect Jean-Francois Zevaco designed Kora Ardia, a remodeling of the square including a geodesic dome.

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United Nations Square on Map

Sight Name: United Nations Square
Sight Location: Casablanca, Morocco (See walking tours in Casablanca)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Casablanca, Morocco

Create Your Own Walk in Casablanca

Create Your Own Walk in Casablanca

Creating your own self-guided walk in Casablanca is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Casablanca Introduction Walking Tour

Casablanca Introduction Walking Tour

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.

The Almoravid dynasty in turn was displaced by the Berber Merinids...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
Casablanca Old Town Walking Tour

Casablanca Old Town Walking Tour

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.

...  view more

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

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