Casablanca

Casablanca (kăˌsəblăngˈkə, kăˌzə–, Span. käˌsäblängˈkä) [key], Arab. Dar-al-Baida, city (1994 est. pop. 2,940,623), W Morocco, on the Atlantic Ocean. The largest city and principal port of Morocco, it accounts for more than half of Morocco's industrial production. The city's leading industries produce textiles, glass, electronics, bricks, beer, and soft drinks. Fish and seafood are abundant in the coastal waters. Major imports include petroleum products. Casablanca is the seat of numerous Arab and French schools, an art school, the Goethe-Institut, and the Hassan II mosque (1993), one of the world's largest.

Casablanca is on the site of Anfa, a prosperous town that the Portuguese destroyed in 1468; they resettled it briefly in 1515 under its present name. Almost destroyed by an earthquake in 1755, Casablanca was rebuilt (1757) by Muhammad XVI. It was occupied by the French in 1907. During World War II, Casablanca was the scene of one of the three major Allied landings in North Africa (Nov., 1942) and of a conference between Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill (Nov., 1943).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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