During my less than 24 hour layover in Casablanca, Morocco, I stumbled upon a beautiful example of classical Moorish architecture called the Mahakama du Pacha. Located in the Habbous area of Casablanca, this is a must see for any visit to the city for three main reasons which I'll list here.
The first reason is that it is literally an awe inspiring Moorish architectural beauty. As one of my first "traditional Moorish architecture" examples, it had everything I imagined Moorish architecture to contain, amazing woodwork, Islamic motifs, beautiful columns, arched entry ways, and open layouts of simplicity with ornate details. Upon seeing the space, there is no wonder why it's used as an official site to receive state guests during official visits. It's impressive.
The second reason why you should visit Mahkama du Pacha is for privacy. If you are lucky enough to gain entrance, it is quite possible that you can literally be the only one there unless you are there with a tour group. When I visited, I had the whole place to myself. Occasionally one of the guards would walk by but other than that it was just me. Technically, the building is not a tourist attraction but an actual actively used office buildlng so you won't see the droves of tourists you will see at other major sites. I was able to sneak in for about 40 minutes and basically tour the first level grounds by myself uninterrupted. It was peaceful, serene, quiet, and the perfect atmosphere for me to really soak up, photograph and film the beauty of the place.
The third reason to visit is that its free. Who can beat that? Thats right, you won't have to pay a dime to enter as it's technically not an official tourist attraction. It's an active administrative building. However, there is a caveat. Because its an active administrative building and not a tourist attraction, you may be denied entrance if you look too touristy. Unless you are apart of a tour, or you come during the once of year, Journee ju patrimoine, it will be hard to gain access. However, sometimes if you ask the guard if you can just take a few minutes to look inside, they will let you in. That's how I got in. It was great.
The Mahakama du Pacha is actually a palace built in the middle of the 20th century which served both as a palace for the justice and the place of reception for the pasha. If you want to visit the Mahakama du Palace, it is located here is the address: Appt Quartier Romandie, Casablanca 20000, Morocco. Any city cab driver can take you to the spot.
Check out the video of the Mahakama du Pacha below.