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Ait Benhaddou – Morocco’s Most Famous Movie Location

There’s no doubt that Ait Benhaddou is Morocco’s most famous movie location. This is a kasbah – a dwelling characterized with high walls and are connected to one another. The alleys are small and towering mud bricks are elaborately decorated.

This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its great example of true Southern Moroccan architecture.

Ait Benhaddou – Morocco’s Most Famous Movie Location

Ait Benhaddou is in the province of Ouarzazate.

Ait Benhaddou - Morocco's Most Famous Movie Location.

Ait Benhaddou – Morocco’s Most Famous Movie Location.

It takes almost 4 hours by bus to get there from Marrakesh.

Ait Benhaddou - Morocco's Most Famous Movie Location.

Ait Benhaddou – Morocco’s Most Famous Movie Location.

As you can see, the structures climb up on the edge of High Atlas Mountains. 

Ait Benhaddou - Morocco's Most Famous Movie Location.

Ait Benhaddou – Morocco’s Most Famous Movie Location.

The towers, palaces and houses are made of red-clay bricks.

Ait Benhaddou - Morocco's Most Famous Movie Location.

Ait Benhaddou – Morocco’s Most Famous Movie Location.

Some of the towers are decorated with motifs and other designs.

Ait Benhaddou - Morocco's Most Famous Movie Location.

Ait Benhaddou – Morocco’s Most Famous Movie Location.

A small tribe of people thrived here long time ago.

Ait Benhaddou - Morocco's Most Famous Movie Location.

Ait Ben Haddou – Morocco’s Most Famous Movie Location.

Though the alleys are narrow and small, the community has a mosque, public squares, two cemeteries (for Muslims and Jewish), etc… 

Ait Ben Haddou - Morocco's Most Famous Movie Location.

Ait Ben Haddou – Morocco’s Most Famous Movie Location.

Because of its unique beauty and architectural marvel, the place  became a UNESCO World Heritage in 1987. 

Ait Ben Haddou - Morocco's Most Famous Movie Location.

Ait Ben Haddou – Morocco’s Most Famous Movie Location.

Today, there are very few people who still live there, but mostly those who are selling tourist trap souvenirs. 

Ait Ben Haddou - Morocco's Most Famous Movie Location.

Ait Ben Haddou – Morocco’s Most Famous Movie Location.

There used to be a river at the bottom of the mountain but now, it’s nowhere. 

Ait Ben Haddou - Morocco's Most Famous Movie Location.

Ait Ben Haddou – Morocco’s Most Famous Movie Location.

What makes Ait Benhaddou famous is the fact that big names in Hollywood came to shoot historical, biographical and Biblical movies.

Ait Ben Haddou - Morocco's Most Famous Movie Location.

Ait Ben Haddou – Morocco’s Most Famous Movie Location.

The first movie shot here was Alibaba in 1954.

Ait Ben Haddou - Morocco's Most Famous Movie Location.

Ait Ben Haddou – Morocco’s Most Famous Movie Location.

Brad Pitt’s Babel was shot here and later won Best Motion Picture – Drama at the Golden Globe and Best Director at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. 

Ait Ben Haddou - Morocco's Most Famous Movie Location.

Ait Ben Haddou – Morocco’s Most Famous Movie Location.

Another movie was the historical epic Gladiator which earned Russel Crowe’s Best Actor at the Oscar’s in 2000. 

Ait Ben Haddou - Morocco's Most Famous Movie Location.

Ait Ben Haddou – Morocco’s Most Famous Movie Location.

Jake Gylenhaal came here too for his film, Prince of Persia

Ait Ben Haddou - Morocco's Most Famous Movie Location.

Ait Ben Haddou – Morocco’s Most Famous Movie Location.

In 2004, Oliver Stone made a historical epic film here with Colin Farrell as Alexander.

Ait Ben Haddou - Morocco's Most Famous Movie Location.

Ait Ben Haddou – Morocco’s Most Famous Movie Location.

For complete list of the movies shot in this location, click here. 

Ait Ben Haddou - Morocco's Most Famous Movie Location.

Ait Ben Haddou – Morocco’s Most Famous Movie Location.

How to get there:
Check with the reception in your hotel or hostel. They have a lot of one-day tours you can join that goes outside and beyond Marrakech.

DISCOVER MOROCCO

Not into travelling solo or alone?  Discover Morocco via Intrepid Travel. They have tours that aren’t crowded but limited participants. Choose from the different itineraries they have, exploring part of or the whole country. You’ll love their tours!

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