Best Ait Ben Haddou Day Trip From Marrakech
This Ait Ben Haddou day trip will pass completely through the chain of the High Atlas by the route of Tizi n’Tichka, passing the highest road in Africa, admire the mountains of the beautiful and traditional Berber villages. You will notice the difference between the two sides of the chain: the North maintains a clear Mediterranean character, while the South is much more arid and Saharan. This is marked in the vegetation, but also in the mode of construction of traditional housing that takes into account climatic conditions very different.
Telouet Kasbah is a Kasbah along the former route of the caravans from the Sahara over the Atlas Mountains to Marrakech. The kasbah was the seat of the El Glaoui family’s power, thus sometimes also called the Palace of Glaoui. Its construction started in 1860 and it was further expanded in later years.
Located in the foothills on the southern slopes of the High Atlas in the Province of Ouarzazate, the site of Ait-Ben-Haddou is the most famous ksar in the Ounila Valley. The Ksar of Aït-Ben-Haddou is a striking example of southern Moroccan architecture. The ksar is a mainly collective grouping of dwellings. Inside the defensive walls which are reinforced by angle towers and pierced with a baffle gate, houses crowd together – some modest, others resembling small urban castles with their high angle towers and upper sections decorated with motifs in clay brick – but there are also buildings and community areas. It is an extraordinary ensemble of buildings offering a complete panorama of pre-Saharan earthen construction techniques. The oldest constructions do not appear to be earlier than the 17th century, although their structure and technique were propagated from a very early period in the valleys of southern Morocco. The site was also one of the many trading posts on the commercial route linking ancient Sudan to Marrakesh by the Dra Valley and the Tizi-n’Telouet Pass. Architecturally, the living quarters form a compact grouping, closed and suspended. The community areas of the ksar include a mosque, a public square, grain threshing areas outside the ramparts, a fortification and a loft at the top of the village, an caravanserai, two cemeteries (Muslim and Jewish) and the Sanctuary of the Saint Sidi Ali or Amer. The Ksar of Ait- Ben-Haddou is a perfect synthesis of earthen architecture of the pre-Saharan regions of Morocco.
Criterion (iv): The Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou is an eminent example of a ksar in southern Morocco illustrating the main types of earthen constructions that may be observed dating from the 17th century in the valleys of Dra, Todgha, Dadès and Souss.
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