"Ait - Benhaddou" Ait Ben Haddou by suvanki
Ait Ben Haddou Travel Guide: 115 reviews and 365 photos
Well if you're a film buff, You'll probably have seen Ait Benhaddou already!
This ksar has featured in more than 20 films, including Gladiator -( the fight scenes were filmed on the dried up river bed which was flattened out especially, and a frontage was added to the ksar, which from a distance blends in well) plus Lawrence of Arabia- which was the first to be filmed here - must watch my video of this film closely! and Jesus of Nazareth- apparently this resulted in changes to and reconstruction of the village.
The ksar is protected by UNESCO (since 1986), as one of its' heritage sites', but it isn't just a 'museum', families still live and work amongst what is considered to be one of the best preserved ksars in the Atlas region (although many of the families who lived here have migrated across the river to a new settlement).
I visited Ait Benhadou as part of our Exodus (Marrakesh and the Sahara) tour, after spending a night camping in the Sahara desert, and before heading to Telouet and a night in Tighza. It was one of the Hi-lights of my trip.
Ait Benhaddou is often described as being one of the best preseved Kasbahs.
Technically Ait Benhaddou is a Ksar.
A Ksar is a collection of kasbahs (family homes), communal areas and buildings, surrounded by high defensive walls, with corner defence towers to re- inforce these.
The red earthern walls and buildings are typical of the architecture of South Morocco. The distinctive colour comes from the iron rich earth.
Ait Benhaddou was established in the 11th century. Its position on the main Marrakesh to the Sahara route, meant it was an ideal stop off for traders taking salt across the desert and returning with goods such as gold and ivory.
- Pros:Great example of a preserved Ksar
- Cons:I've heard of tourists being hassled for baksheesh, but didn't bother our group
- In a nutshell:Worth a visit as a day trip or detour.
Travellers from Marrakech to Ouarzazate (and vise -versa) often detour to Ait Benhaddou. Not far from this site is... more travel advice
Light weight day sac for carrying camera, water etc. Travel lightly especially as it can be fiecely hot mid day mid... more travel advice
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