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 is in the province of Ouarzazate.
It takes almost 4 hours by bus to get there from Marrakesh.
As you can see, the structures climb up on the edge of High Atlas Mountains.
The towers, palaces and houses are made of red-clay bricks.
Some of the towers are decorated with motifs and other designs.
A small tribe of people thrived here long time ago.
Though the alleys are narrow and small, the community has a mosque, public squares, two cemeteries (for Muslims and Jewish), etc…
Because of its unique beauty and architectural marvel, the place became a UNESCO World Heritage in 1987.
Today, there are very few people who still live there, but mostly those who are selling tourist trap souvenirs.
There used to be a river at the bottom of the mountain but now, it’s nowhere.
What makes Ait Benhaddou famous is the fact that big names in Hollywood came to shoot historical, biographical and Biblical movies.
The first movie shot here was Alibaba in 1954.
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.
Another movie was the historical epic Gladiator which earned Russel Crowe’s Best Actor at the Oscar’s in 2000.
Jake Gylenhaal came here too for his film, Prince of Persia.
In 2004, Oliver Stone made a historical epic film here with Colin Farrell as Alexander.
For complete list of the movies shot in this location, click here.
OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!
- The Snake Charmers of Marrakesh
- Moulay Idriss is the Birthplace of Islam in Morocco
- Marrakech Medina is an Assault to the Senses
- The Roman Ruins of Volubilis
- The Beauty of the Unfinished Hassan Tower
- The Beautiful Doors of Morocco
- Photos: All the Moroccan Food I Ate in Morocco
- The Atlas Film Studio Museum in Ouarzazate
- Bab Boujloud – The Gateway to the Medina in Fes
- Sunset in Casablanca
- The Sights, Sounds and Tastes of Jemaa el-Fna
- Koutoubia Mosque – The Largest Mosque in Marrakech
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