After 2 nights in the Imperial city of Meknes, I’m back home… known as Casablanca too! It is my hometown but sometimes I realise that I don’t know it very well. Last year, during an exclusive open days of some of the city’s monuments, I’ve done a guided tour of the Old City and the first centre point of Casablanca limited by the Port, Mohammed V Square and the Old Town by the west.
This year, the Port of Casablanca celebrates 100 years of history! It was considered few years ago as the major port of the kingdom and one of the largest artificial ports in the world. Construction of the port started on 25th March 1913 and since then it gave the city a brand new dimension…
More about Casablanca and its port also some pictures from today after the jump.
This morning, I’ve taken the Tramway from Beausejour station towards the City Centre. The tramway is a brand new way of transport introduced on the symbolic date 12-12-2012 after 4 years of construction. This is the first line that links the West to the East of the urban area of Casablanca. The price of a travel costs 7dhs (0.5p) including a travel card or 6 dhs (0.4p) without a travel card. The tramway stops in several central stations. I’ve got off at Place des Nations Unis (United Nations Square) just in front of the Old Town, Mohammed V Avenue with its Art Deco buildings and few steps away from the Port.
The port of Casablanca has been established in 1913. This year it is celebrating it’s first century of existence although roots of the port return back to the 15th century! Year by year from the Portuguese era until the 2010s those are the key events and dates of the history of the port:
- 1572: The Port of Anfa served to export wheat to Portugal or wool to Genoa.
- 1785: Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah gave his agreement to export cereals to a Spanish company “Compana de los cincos Majores de Madrid” and he introduced a new law.
- 1805: Due to several circumstances that the country and the region of Dar El Beida (Casablanca in Arabic) has been through. The Sultan Moulay Slimane decided to close ports of the country including the Port of Casablanca. Therefore, it stays inactive for years.
- 1830: Sultan Moulay Abderahmane opens the ports of the country due to economic interests. The second half of the 19th century has been marked by a huge development of the city of Dar El Beida and its port.
- 1862: The maritime line between Dar El Beida and Marseille by Compagnie Paquet.
- 1873: Sultan Moulay El Hassan orders the renovation of the port. The port’s traffic increases over Tangier’s port becoming the first commercial port of the country.
- 1904: New constructions of a smaller port for ships waiting 1000 or 1200 meters away from the coast.
- 25th March 1913: “Compagnie Marocaine”, “Schneider” and The Hersent Brothers are selected for the construction of the Port of Casablanca.
- 2nd April 1913: Construction of the port are officially approved by the Sultan.
- 16th October 1913: Sultan Moulay Youssef, during a visit of Casablanca, follows the ports construction steps.
- 1921: 8 years later, at the middle of the construction of the port, discovery of phosphate reserves in Khouribga affects the construction that is in stand by.
- 1924: A year after its official inauguration, the port knows a major step in its history by the construction of a jetty. This jetty is named “Jetty of Phosphate”.
- 1932: Ships have an easier access and anchoring after the end of the commercial mole.
- 1950: Mole Tarik starts operating.
- 1972: The Port of Casablanca enters in the container’s era. The container traffic easily reach 60.000 at the beginning of the 1980s.
- 1996: The East Container’s Terminal starts its operations as it is considered as the real and first container by its characteristics.
- 2004: The actual King Mohammed VI inaugurated the extension of the East Container’s Terminal on 14th May 2004.
- 2008-2012: This period knows various events and projects such as the construction of a third terminal.
- 2013-…: The port of Casablanca with various projects building its history and timeline made it one of the most important ports in the world! After such a history, we could expect more for a brighter future for the economic capital’s port.
Those pictures has been taken today with my camera. This is me and my city, Casablanca and next time I will be in another city near you!
Bonus: A video of the history of the Port of Casablanca in Arabic though.
Source: Information from http://www.portdecasablanca-100ans.com/ Translated from French to English by myself.