Along the southern border of the High Atlas, situated between the Sahara and Marrakech, is the impressive village of Ait Benhaddou. The settlement was once situated along one of the countryís most important caravan routes, but the regionís ancient trading routes are no longer used today.
A walled village, the Ksar, was founded in the 12th century by the people of Ait Aissa and its narrow lanes lead up to several fortress-like citadels, the five main Kasbahs of Ait Benhaddou.
For visitors, the narrow, medieval lanes of the village are tantamount to a confusing maze, however, the plain but nevertheless, expressive architecture of the houses has a unique and magical atmosphere.
Fortunately, the cultural and historical value of this unique Moroccan clay village has now been fully recognized. Otherwise each of the houses, towers and kasbahs of Ait Benhaddou may have long since disappeared beneath the sands of time.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.