As always, click upon any image to enlarge it
Ksar Ait Ben Haddous is around 1,300 square meters. Made of red clay bricks, it has many long and narrow alleys tangling up in a unique geometric shape. Some structures are modest, others resemble small urban castles with their high angle towers and upper sections decorated with motifs in clay brick - but there are also community areas which include a mosque, a public square, grain threshing areas outside the ramparts, a fortification and a loft at the top of the village, a caravanserai, two cemeteries (Muslim and Jewish) and the Sanctuary of the Saint Sidi Ali.
The earthen buildings are very vulnerable due to lack of maintenance and regular repair resulting from the abandonment of the ksar by its inhabitants.
About 98 families lived in the Ksar until the 1940s. Nowadays, only five still live. there, most moved to modern structures in the bustling town across the river. The large houses in the lower part of the ksar however, with well conserved decorative motifs, are regularly maintained. Workers return daily however to shops that serve the entire area’s lively-hood: tourism and the movie makers from Oouarzazate.
The architectural style has adapted to the climatic conditions all in harmony with natural and social environment configurations. The inclination during restoration to introduce cement has so far been unsuccessful. Only a few lintels and reinforced concrete have escaped vigilance, but they have been hidden by earthen rendering.
Note the graffiti on the front of this shop. This was a set for the movie Gladiato