GPS coordinates: 33°35’29″N 7°37’28″W (33.591462, -7.624403)
Construction of neo-gothic style cathedral had been started in 1930 by architect Paul Tournon. M. Tournon knew that such a large project would cost a lot. That’s why he had started building the cathedral bay (=section) by bay starting from altar. To the time when the money finished, only 3 bays (of 10) were completed.
In such strange condition the cathedral had spent 20 years. Despite of being unfinished cathedral was operational. Construction was finished only in 1952, when the rest of needed money had been collected.
Sacre-Coeur cathedral has 5 naves (=long spaces separated from each other by columns). It looks unusual because in European traditions cathedrals have 3 naves. But it was important for colonialists to accentuate that they did return after ages (not invade or come for the first time) to Africa. So the architecture of Sacre Coeur dates back to architectural traditions of early Christianity in Africa.
Also huge building was intended to demonstrate the supremacy of Christianity – it was designed higher and bigger than the mosques around. Sizes of cathedral can impress even today.
After the independence of Morocco in 1956 cathedral has lost its religious function. That’s why it feels uncomfortable inside – it looks so empty and huge. When I entered the cathedral, there was a kind of fashion event going on. Nowadays there’s a kind of antiques market inside.
Casablanca cathedral is located on the edge of the biggest park of the city – Parc de la Ligue Arabe. GPS coordinates of park: 33°35’26.6″N 7°37’22.4″W (33.590708, -7.622896)
Take map of Casablanca with you – just click the star and it will be saved in your Google account. Any locations in this region that I will add later will appear on your map.
You can visit both sights using the itinerary of self-guided tour (violet line):