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Taourirte Kasbah

Taourirte means small hill in the Amazigh language.

Tighremt n’Tourirte or Taourirte kasbah is said to have been built in the 17th century on the north bank of Oued Ouarzazate. At the beginning, this splendid fortress built in earth was decorated with sober geometrical patterns. It served as a stopover for the commercial caravans crossing the desert to Marrakech.

For a long time, Taourirte was ruled by caïds from local families. During all these ancient times, it was a crossroads of ethnic mixing. Its population was composed of Amazigh and Arab households with a strong Jewish presence.

Until the early 1880s, Taourirte was under the authority of the Amghar (chief) Mohammad Ouhmad Ouâabbou. Thereafter, the Glaoua, powerful lords of the Atlas whose stronghold was then Telouet, were to take power over the south-east by making the kasbah of Taourirte an important centre of government in the region. They then took charge of the extension and the redesign of the architecture of the kasbah which became their sumptuous family residence. The domination of the Glaouas over Taourirte ended with the last caïd Mohammad Elmehdi Ben Hmmadi who lost power at the time of independence in 1956.

Since then, the lordly palace has been abandoned. Since 1972, it has belonged to the municipality of Ouarzazate, which has made it a place dedicated to tourist visits. As for the village of Taourirte, it is still populated by families from a modest social background. Bazaar shops are open in the alleys of the kasbah.

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