Kasbahs of Ouarzazate
Kasbah of Taourirt
The kasbah of Taourirt built entirely in earth is part of the village of the same name adjoining Ouarzazate. The complex occupies a strategic position at the confluence of two important rivers: the wadis Dadès and Ouarzazate forming the Draa River; also located at the crossroads of ancient caravan passages.
According to oral tradition, the Kasbah of Taourirt was built in the 17th century. Its expansion and remodelling would be the work of Hammadi el Glaoui representing in Taourirt his brother Mahdi, then powerful pasha of Telouet.
In 1940, Mohammed El Mahdi ben (son) Hmmadi managed the affairs of Taourirt until independence, where all his property was confiscated in retaliation for his alliance with the French.
In 1953, the Kasbah of Taourirt was classified as a national heritage and bought by the municipality of Ouarzazate in 1972.
The kasbah of Taourirt is divided into 4 parts:
The south-eastern part is occupied by the centre for the conservation and rehabilitation of the atlasic and sub-atlastic architectural heritage, in charge of the inventory and rehabilitation of ksour and kasbahs in southern Morocco.
The north-eastern part was restored in 1996, and was given over to the curiosity of visitors, where some parts still bear witness to the grandeur of this building: notably the reception hall built in a city style, and the courtyard, where the receptions and parties were held, with preserved facade decorations.
The part in the east called “Stara” is occupied by inhabitants.
The central part of the ruined Kasbah is inaccessible.
Today, the Kasbah of Taourirt is no longer the palace full of sumptuous objects and decorations, but a maze of rooms emptied of their treasures.
Open daily from 8 am to 5:30 pm. (3:30 pm during Ramadan month).
Admission: 20 Dh – guided tours of one hour: 120 to 200 Dh, official and negotiable rates depending on the number of people.
Village of Taourirt
Dating from the 17th century, the village of Taourirt is made up of interlacing alleys for some covered and others leading to small private passageways.
The village splits into two districts: Mellah, where Jews and Berbers lived together until the middle of the 20th century, and the kasbah district, known as “place de la mosque”.
Kasbah of Tifoultoute
On a dominant position, overlooking the Oued Tifoultoute, this 17th century kasbah, which belonged in its splendour to a sheikh, rival of the caid of Ouarzazate and then to a caliphate of Glaoui, reopened its doors at the end of 2010, after 2 years of renovation.
The restored part is the one that the Caliphate of Glaoui built in the 1880s, the oldest part being totally dilapidated and abandoned. We discover a vast room covered with kilims and other bright red carpets on the ground floor. In the middle, instead of what was once supposed to be a small fountain, there is a tbel: a huge wooden drum and cowhide skins.
An imposing dome covered with “achtads”, a collection of transparent blue fabrics worn by women during local folklores, dominates the place and delivers a soothing light. All around us, there are beautiful solid wood doors opening unfortunately on empty and bare rooms.
The stairs lead up to the upper floor, inhabited by large rooms just as desolate, then to the terrace of the kasbah where the interest seems to reside and in its indisputable panoramic view overlooking the Ouarzazate river valley and its inhabited stork’s nest.
Open daily from 8 am to 6 pm. Admission: 20 Dh.
Come to the kasbah of Tifoultoute:
By car, by the N. 9 towards Marrakech; after 6 km, turn left towards Zagora, the kasbah of Tifoultoute is located 2 km further on.
In a large taxi, ask about the big car park in front of Ouarzazate bus station. Count 15 Dh per person.
Ouarzazate – From 35 €
Ouarzazate – From 49 €
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Ouarzazate – From 46 €