N31 2 49.992 W7 7 44.004
Date of Inscription: 1987
Property : 3.03 ha
Buffer zone: 16.32 ha
The ksar, a group of earthen buildings surrounded by high walls, is a traditional pre-Saharan habitat. The houses crowd together within the defensive walls, which are reinforced by corner towers. Ait-Ben-Haddou, in Ouarzazate province, is a striking example of the architecture of southern Morocco.
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.
Criterion (v): The Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou illustrates the traditional earthen habitat, representing the culture of southern Morocco, which has become vulnerable as a result of irreversible socio-economic and cultural changes.
Ouarzazate is a city in Morocco and the largest town in the Saharan Morocco. Ouarzazate is relatively small (60 000 inhabitants) and for Morocco quiet town, which can be very refreshing coming from a city like Fez, Meknes or Marrakech. You will barely be hassled here and can walk freely and enjoy the streets. It is thus no wonder that its name comes from a Berber phrase meaning “without noise” or “without confusion”. At an elevation of 1,135 m, built mostly along main street – Avenue Muhammed V. Once in its history, Ouarzazate had been crossing point for African traders seeking to reach northern cities in Morocco and Europe. During the French period, Ouarzazate expanded considerably as a garrison town and administrative centre. The area around Mohammad V is very walkable. The CTM station is there as well. Petits taxis for within the city (no more than 10 dirham from the airport to the hotel), grands taxis for between cities (no more than 150 dirham to Ait Benhaddou and back, though you can probably get it lower), including to Ait Benhaddou and surrounding Kasbahs [read more].
Tarmigt is a commune in the Ouarzazate Province of the Souss-Massa-Drâa administrative region of Morocco. At the time of the 2004 census, the commune had a total population of 30871 people living in 5241 households [read more].
Marrakech, also spelt Marrakesh, is one of the imperial cities of Morocco. The name Marrakech originates from the Amazigh (Berber) words mur (n) wakush, which means “Land of God”. It is the third largest city in Morocco after Casablanca and Rabat, and lies near the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains and a few hours away from the foot of the Sahara Desert. Its location and contrasting landscape has made it an enviable destination in Morocco. The city is divided into two parts: the Medina, the historical city, and the new European modern district called Gueliz or Ville Nouvelle. The Medina is full of intertwining narrow passageways and local shops full of character; it also contains the large square Djemaa El-Fna, where many hotels are located and tourists, locals and vendors congregate. In contrast, Gueliz plays host to modern restaurants, fast food chains and big brand stores. Marrakech is the main tourist destination in Morocco and thus it is also a place where many Moroccans try to become rich fast by ripping off tourists [read more].
Possibly one of my favourite places in Morocco, Aït Benhaddou looks like it’s carved within the mountain itself. This small little village is known locally as an ighrem (something similar to a walled and protected village) that was once used as a stopping point for traders through the desert. Although very few people live here now, it’s still an incredibly beautiful village to see. Just make sure to arrive early to avoid the crowds (and that intense midday sun).