kasbah ait behaddou

Aït Benhaddou (Berbers languages Arabic: آيت بن حدّو‎) is an ighrem (fortified village in English) along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech in present-day Morocco. Most citizens attracted by the tourist trade live in more modern dwellings in a village on the other side of the river, although there are four families still living in the ancient village. Inside the walls of the ksar are half a dozen kasbahs, or merchants’ houses. Ksar Aït Benhaddou is a great example of Moroccan earthen clay architecture and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.

Ksar Ait Ben Haddou is an ancient city located along the Ouarzazate Town  river near Marrakech. This UNESCO World Heritage site in Morocco is very popular among travelers. Mainly because it is one of the filming locations of HBO’s blockbuster series: Game of Thrones and gladiator movies . The Kasbah of Ait BenHaddou in North Africa are over a 1000 years old but still just as relevant and a must-visit if you are planning to visit Morocco.

The word ‘Ksar’ refers to a large group of kasbas (homes) that are built close together and which are located behind the fortified walls of a city. Ait-Ben-Haddou is an earthen city that is constructed from clay bricks and has thick defensive walls protecting the interior. The corner towers reinforce the defenses and stand high above the walls, casting an intimidating shadow against the skyline. Ait-Ben-Haddou was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Morocco in 1987. Interestingly, this site has a very strong bond with Hollywood. David Lean chose Ait-Ben-Haddou as the perfect location for his movie, ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, in the year 1962. On closer inspection, Lean discovered that the buildings were starting to fall into disrepair and so he quickly set about restoring some of the unique homes. Due to continuous restoration work and the recognition of the importance of this site, the front half of this amazing site is in very good condition. Unfortunately there are buildings situated near the back of the city that are still in desperate need of attention.

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To reach ksar Ait Ben haddou from Marrakech you have to pass the Atlas Mountains. This 4-hour drive will bring you along Tizi n’ Tichka and provides you with some of the most amazing views. The easiest way to visit Ait Ben Haddou is by booking a tour, but there are more options.

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Like always the best time to Trip a UNESCO World Heritage is as early as possible or later in the afternoon. With ksar Ait Ben Haddou it is the same situation as it is very popular among travelers in Morocco.

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