Ksar Ait-Ben-Haddou: the most famous Kasbah in Morocco.
The ksar is a group of earthen buildings surrounded by high walls, it is a traditional pre-Saharan habitat. The houses are huddled within the defensive walls, which are reinforced by corner towers. Ait-Ben-Haddou, in the province of Ouarzazate, is a striking example of southern Moroccan architecture.
Located in the foothills of 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, reinforced by angular towers and traversed by a deflecting gate, the houses crowd together, some modest, others resembling small urban castles with their high-angle towers and upper sections decorated with brick motifs from clay, but there are also buildings and community areas. It is an extraordinary set of buildings that offers a comprehensive overview of pre-Saharan earth construction techniques. The oldest constructions do not appear to be prior to the seventeenth century, although their structure and technique spread from a very early time in the valleys of southern Morocco. The site was also one of many trading posts on the trade route linking ancient Sudan to Marrakech through the Dra Valley and the Tizi-n’Telouet pass. Architecturally, the houses form a compact, closed and suspended group. The communal areas of the ksar include a mosque, a public square, grain threshing areas outside the walls, a fortification and loft at the top of the village, a caravanserai, two cemeteries (Muslim and Jewish), and the Sanctuary of St. Sidi. Ali or Amer. The Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou is a perfect synthesis of the earthen architecture of the pre-Saharan regions of Morocco.