Amzrou, Ksar at the threshold of Zagora
Amzrou, a village of about 5,000 inhabitants that adjoins Zagora in the direction of M’hamid, is home to a very interesting and well-preserved ksar.
In the past, a large Jewish community lived in the mellah district. Only 12 families remained when the latter left Amzrou for Israel in 1956.
The small synagogue of Amzrou, which is visited, is a room restored and lit by a skylight during the day. At the bottom of it was placed the Torah in a niche, and small holes were drilled in the walls to deposit the kippas.
The silver craft, one of the specialties at that time, is still present in the ksar. The molten silver is poured into an engraved clay mould and then immersed in water.
The jewellery is then worked by hand to add a final touch. You can visit one of the manufacturing workshops, following the panel, at the main entrance of the ksar: Jewelry Manufacture.
The other quarter, called Ksar Kedim, exhibits a mosque dating from the 15th century, entirely made of adobe. Formerly only reserved for men, a dependency has just been created there for women, where a scholar comes to read the Koran and teach general courses.
A main road follows the surrounding walls of the Ksar from where small covered lanes lead to the houses.
Here live Berbers and Draouas, a black population from Mali and Niger. As in most ksour, skylights are drilled to let the light through during the day.
During the rains, a system was developed to recover water coming from the terraces. These are poured out using gutters made of palm trunks bringing water into the alleyways of the ksar.
Finally, through a subtle sloping canal, the water flows into the seguias feeding the palm grove with water. On the outskirts of this one, the village of Amzrou has some small dunes held by jrids, leaves of braided palm trees blocking desertification and the movement of sand towards the palm grove.
Sand baths are organized there, intended to fight against osteoarthritis, from June to September.