Kasbah Taourirt | ⵟⴰⵓⵓⵔⵉⵔⵜ
Thami el Glaoui, the Pasha of Marrakech, was a prominent landowner. In the Ouarzazate region, he entrusted the ksar of Taourirt to his eldest son. El Glaoui transformed part of the ksar into a splendid Kasbah where his family resided until Morocco gained independence in 1956. Situated in the center of Ouarzazate, the Kasbah received extensive care, with most of it being restored in the 1980s, while the south side underwent restoration in the last two years. The exterior walls of Taourirt Kasbah are adorned with geometric Amazigh patterns. However, once inside the building, you’ll discover the richness of the decoration that Glaoui incorporated. Some rooms feature intricately carved and painted cedar plank ceilings, paintings, and zelliges on the walls. When taken out of its context, such as the Ksar, Taourirt might not be as impressive as others on the 1000 Kasbahs route. Additionally, the area open to visitors represents only a small portion of what the Kasbah encompasses.
Taourirt, Ouarzazate’s Kasbah
Taourirt was constructed in the 17th century, with its expansion and restructuring carried out by Hammadi Glaoui, the sibling of Madani, in 1882. Taourirt’s history began during the time of Sultan Mly Abderrahman ben Hicham, who appointed Mohammed Ibibt El Mezouari from Telouet as the chief of Glaoua, Ouaouzguit, and Imeghran.
Subsequently, the new Caid initiated a strategy of acquiring land from the southeast. At that time, Taourirt was under the authority of the caïds of Tamnougalt. This authority shifted to Telouet in 1874 when Mohamed Ibibt took over Si El Abbas. The Glaoua’s dominance was then established through marital alliances.
On the death of Amghar Mohamed or Hmad or Abou, Si Hammadi el Glaoui married his widow Lalla Sfia Hmad. His nephew (son of Mohamed Ibibt) married Lalla Ijja Hmad, sister of Amghar. Through these connections, the Glaoua asserted control over Taourirt and Ouarzazate, particularly after the reign of Sultan Hassan 1st. Si Hammadi el Glaoui ruled until his death in 1937, thanks to his brother Pasha Thami and the military prowess of his nephew Hammou el Glaoui. The family retained control over Taourirt with Mohamed ben Hammadi. In 1940, Mohamed El Mahdi ben Hammadi governed Taourirt until Independence.
The government requisitioned the Glaoui’s property, and some of it was returned to beneficiaries in the 1960s. In 1972, the Municipality of Ouarzazate acquired the Taourirt Kasbah.