Camouflaged in an immense mountain of stones, the Ksar Aït Ben Haddou is one of the most impressive and important constructions in Morocco

Bordering the Sahara Desert, the province of Ouarzazate is an important historical region of the Morocco. The district is full of sites that demonstrate the way of life of the people who inhabited this region for thousands of years, sheltered in the midst of desert landscapes that mix dunes, oases and rocky mountains. These attractions are mostly open to visitors and are home to the impressive kasbah's, buildings such as palaces and ksours, fortified citadels of Berber origin, made from clay, wood and straw.

The importance of Ouarzazate spread among historians, tourists and the curious, transforming this region into one of the most tourist areas in the country. Among the most visited attractions is the fascinating Ait Ben Haddou, just 25km from the city, a village with countless houses, alleys, watchtowers, mosques, squares, terraces and kasbah's, protected by an immense fortress. Today full of craft shops and Moroccan art studios. The city can be accessed by a bridge that passes over the Ounila River and its facade can already be observed from afar, extremely well preserved, the construction seems to spring from a charming oasis located on the edge of the flume.

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Founded in 757 the Ksar Ait Ben Haddou, was an important post for the ancient caravan routes and nomadic groups that passed between marrakesh and the Sahara Desert. Today the pastel colored streets of Ait Ben Haddou, gain color with the craft tents installed in the city's buildings. Carpets, ceramics, clothing and traditional country spices can be found in the various tents and shops scattered around the citadel.

Upon entering the fortress it is possible to understand the historical value of the building for Moroccans. Narrow, winding streets appear every few steps, viewpoints and terraces provide spaces for wonderful views. Panoramic views appear on each slope, with imposing buildings in a symmetrical shape and well preserved. These features show the charm, details and rustic beauty of the typical architecture of this Moroccan region.

Walking through the streets and alleys of the historic site, the visitor arrives at the top of the mountain where the city is installed. From up there you can see an unmissable view of Ait Ben Haddou with the new city further on, the ideal place to enjoy the sunset at the destination.

It would be nice to comment that Aït Ben Haddou has cinematographic landscapes, the “earth-colored” historic site, has unique and picturesque beauty. The landscape caught the attention of many filmmakers who used the scenery as a background for several Hollywood, European films and series, such as Gladiator, Indiana Jones and game of Thrones. Today, the most visited attraction in Ouarzazate, it receives tourists from the 4 corners of the world, who walk the narrow and winding streets of the citadel in search of traces of local history and have the possibility to walk inside one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.

Entering the city of Aït Ben Haddou. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Aït Ben Haddou is a landmark of Moroccan architecture. Photo: Gustavo Albano

The city looks like a biblical setting and has served as a location for several films. Photo: Gustavo Albano

THE Better Travel Guide traveled to Morocco at the invitation of Morocco Tourism Delegation in collaboration with the airline Royal Air Maroc Brazil.

Read too:

» Morocco: tips on how to plan a trip around the country
» Itinerary in Morocco: discovering the south of the country
» The film sets of Ouarzazate, Moroccan Hollywood
» Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, the largest temple in Morocco

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