Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Mud Fortresses of Ait Benhaddou

A man’s home is his castle, goes an English saying. But it is in this in traditional Moroccan village where families literally live in their own fortress kasbahs, each stretching some ten metres into the air.

Established in the 11th century, it served as a stop for caravans carrying salt south across the Sahara and returning with ivory and gold. This scenic village has been very much favoured by film makers, from David Lean’s “Lawrence of Arabia” to Scott Ridley’s “Gladiator”.


Still the mud houses, which need lots of maintenance after each rainstorm, have been steadily crumbling. Only about 10 families live in there now, the majority preferring to live in a modern village across the river.



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