CASABLANCA (Dar el Baida, "the white house"), a seaport on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, in 33° 27' N., 7° 46' W. It is a wool and grain port for central Morocco, chiefly for the provinces of Tadla and Shawia. Third in importance of the towns on the Moorish coast, unimpeded by bar or serious rocks, the roadstead is exposed to the north-west winds. There is anchorage for steamers in 5 to 6 fathoms. Vessels were loaded and discharged by lighters from the beach. In May 1907 the construction began of harbour works which afford sheltered accommodation for ships at all states of the tide. The value of the foreign trade of the port for the period 1897-1907 was about £750,000 a year. A railway to Ber Reshid, the first section of a line intended to tap the rich agricultural region of which Casablanca is the port, was opened in September 1908, being the first railway built in Morocco. The population, about 20,000, includes numerous foreign merchants, Franciscan and Protestant missions, and a consular corps. Built by the Portuguese upon the site of the once prosperous town of Anfa, which they had destroyed in 1468, Casablanca was held by them for some time, till trouble with the natives compelled them to abandon it. In August 1907, in consequence of the murder of a number of French and Spanish workmen engaged on the harbour works, the town was bombarded and occupied by the French (see Morocco: History).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)