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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 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.

 

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