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Mohammed V Square: The Cultural and Historical Heart of Casablanca


In the vibrant city of Casablanca, one landmark epitomizes the fusion of modernity and tradition, colonial legacy and Moroccan identity: Mohammed V Square. Positioned at the center of Morocco’s economic capital, this expansive square is not just a popular gathering place but also a symbol of the nation’s complex history and architectural evolution. Named after Sultan Mohammed V, who led Morocco to independence, the square stands as a tribute to his leadership and the country’s journey into the modern era.

Historical Context

Constructed during the French Protectorate in the 20th century, Mohammed V Square was designed to reflect the grandeur of European architecture while incorporating Moroccan artistic styles, embodying a period of profound transformation. As Casablanca underwent rapid development and modernization, the square became a focal point for the city’s new administrative and civic structures. It was here that Morocco declared its independence in 1956, making the square a significant site in the nation’s history.

Architectural Significance

The architecture around Mohammed V Square is a testament to a unique blend of Art Deco and Neo-Moorish styles, characteristic of Casablanca’s urban landscape. Surrounding the square are key historic buildings that illustrate this architectural synthesis. Notable structures include:

  • The Prefecture of Casablanca-Anfa: A striking example of administrative colonial architecture with its ornate facade and arched windows.
  • The Palace of Justice: Designed by Joseph Marrast in 1922, this building epitomizes the fusion of French colonial and traditional Moroccan designs with its massive doors and detailed tiling.
  • The French Consulate: Another emblematic building that reflects the historical French influence on the city.
  • The Bank Al-Maghrib: Showcasing intricate designs and robust construction, mirroring the economic aspirations of the era.

The Central Fountain

A remarkable feature of Mohammed V Square is its central fountain, a masterpiece of craftsmanship and Moroccan artistry. This fountain, often illuminated at night, is adorned with traditional zellij (mosaic tile work) and sculpted bronze, creating a mesmerizing display that draws both locals and tourists alike. The fountain is not just decorative but also serves as a symbol of the confluence of cultures in Casablanca.

Cultural Hub

Over the years, Mohammed V Square has evolved into a vibrant cultural hub. It hosts various events, including public concerts, festivals, and national celebrations. Each event held here reflects the square’s role as a public space where art, culture, and community come together.

Daily Life and Public Space

On any given day, the square is bustling with activity. Street vendors, tourists, local business people, and families fill the space, contributing to the dynamic atmosphere that defines Casablanca’s public life. The area around the square is also a popular spot for cafés and shops, where visitors can enjoy Moroccan tea and pastries while soaking in the surroundings.

Green Spaces and Accessibility

The recent renovations have focused on making Mohammed V Square more pedestrian-friendly and greener. New walkways, gardens, and seating areas have been added to enhance its appeal as a leisure destination in the heart of the city. These improvements aim to respect the historical significance of the square while adapting to the needs of a modern urban population.

Importance in Modern Casablanca

Today, Mohammed V Square stands as a testament to Casablanca’s identity as a city that bridges the old and the new. It is a place where history is remembered, where the community gathers, and where the arts flourish. As Casablanca continues to grow and evolve, the square remains a constant, reminding residents and visitors of the city’s rich heritage and vibrant future.

Visiting Mohammed V Square

Visitors to Casablanca are encouraged to explore Mohammed V Square not just as a tourist attraction but as a living piece of history. Guided tours are available, offering insights into the square’s architectural details and historical events. Whether visiting during the day to observe the hustle and bustle of city life or in the evening to see the fountain and buildings beautifully lit up, Mohammed V Square offers a unique cultural experience.


Mohammed V Square is more than just the geographical center of Casablanca; it is the cultural and historical heart of the city. Its rich history, architectural beauty, and vibrant public life make it a must-visit location for anyone wanting to understand the essence of Casablanca. The square not only celebrates Morocco’s past but also embraces the bustling, dynamic spirit of its present, making it a landmark that truly represents the soul of the city.

Additional Resources

For those interested in exploring more of Casablanca’s architectural and cultural landmarks, nearby attractions such as the Hassan II Mosque and Notre Dame Lourdes offer further insights into the city’s historical and religious significance. Each of these sites complements the visit to Mohammed V Square, enriching the overall experience of Morocco’s largest city.

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