Ouarzazate Travel Blog› entry 5 of 11 › view all entries
The night we stayed in the Riad Salam Hotel in Ouarzazate. Ouarzazate means 'The door of the desert' and is capital of Ouarzazate Province in the Souss-Massa-Draâ of southern-central Morocco. It has a population of 57,000 inhabitants. Ouarzazate is located in the middle of a bare plateau south of the High Atlas Mountains. To the south of the town is the desert. The town is chiefly inhabited by Berbers, who constructed many of the prominent kasbahs and building for which the area is known for. Ouarzazate is one of the important holiday destinations in Morocco as a nodal point for excursion across the Draa Valley and desert in the area.
The town and surrounding area is also a noted film-making location, with Morocco's biggest studios inviting many international film companies to shoot their films. Films such as Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Star Wars (1977), The Living Daylights (1987), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), The Mummy (1999), Gladiator (2000) and Martin Scorcese's Kundun (1997) were shot in the Ouarazate area (some together with the Ait Ben Haddou-area).
Beside the film studio a visit the kasbah of Taourirt is worth a look, which we did in the next morning. The kasbah was the former home of the Khalid and became later the possession of T'hami El Glaoui. The Krupps field gun which secured Glaoui power is outside.