Ait Ben Haddou: small unique town by the desert

Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a small village close to Ouarzazate. The village is divided into an old and new city, separated by a river, although the river is mostly dry. A bridge has been constructed to connect the old and new cities, which was a significant development since previously the only way to cross the river was by donkey. Today, only eight families live in the old city, while the new city has around 1000 inhabitants.

Ait Ben Haddou
Old city of Ait Ben Haddou

Discover Ait Ben Haddou

Brownish houses, made of clay, narrow streets, and small, cute shops – that is the old city. The ways lead up to a small hill, where the „old control house“ is located. It provides a stunning view of the surrounding area with its charming buildings, mountains, and nature.

Ait Ben Haddou
Old city
Ait Ben Haddou "Control-House"
Old control house

Nature-based Art

Moreover, there are special paintings created by a local artist. These paintings are made using natural ingredients such as mint tea (with and without sugar), saffron, and indigo. After the artist completes the painting, it is exposed to flames, causing the colors to be burned into the paper, resulting in a unique and long-lasting artwork. It is truly fascinating to witness this process firsthand.

Ait Ben Haddou Paintings
Ait Ben Haddou Paintings
Nature based art


Ait Ben Haddou has been the movie scene for several movies like, for example, „Lawrence of Arabia,“ „Gladiator,“ and „Game of Thrones.“ An interesting fact: They built an arena extra for Gladiator. But they had to destroy it again after they finished shooting due to the fact that the city is a UNESCO World Heritage site, so no changes are allowed.

In Conclusion

the village offers a unique experience. Discovering the old city is fun, and the view from the hill of the old control house is amazing. So discover the place of tradition, movies, and art!

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