Morocco Spotlight

Ouarzazate

Ouarzazate originally was a small trader town enroute to Europe and northern cities in Morocco and was a garrison town ...

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last updated - 22 Dec 2014 3:28 PM

Ait Benhaddou Holidays

Ait Benhaddou Travel


Aït Benhaddou is a ‘fortified city’ situated along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech, used to carry salt across the Sahara and bring back gold, ivory and slaves. It is situated on a hill along the Ouarzazate River and boasts some beautiful examples of kasbahs, some of which remain inhabited.

Granted UNESCO World Heritage listing in 1987, the site had been the setting for many films including Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Mummy and Alexander. The views of the High Atlas are stunning and it is easy to see why this city has been so popular as a film set over the years, dramatic and picturesque.

Explore the incredible winding alleys and ancient dusty red kasbahs, some of which are still inhabited, although there are only about half a dozen families living here. There is now a newer part of town on the other side of the river where most people live.

The kasbahs are some of the most decorated in the region and are believed to date anywhere from the eleventh to the sixteenth century, although it is impossible to date them exactly. Rainstorms damage the mud brick buildings and regular restoration and repair takes place now to preserve the city.

Click Ait Benhaddou images to start slideshow