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The town of Ait-Ben-Haddou, located on the southern slopes of the High Atlas Mountains, is one of the most spectacular manmade sights along the valley in Morocco’s rocky desert. The town is best known for its kasbas —the tall earthen buildings that crowd together behind defensive walls, reinforced by corner towers. Such a town is known as a ksar, or a fortified town, and Ait-Ben-Haddou is said to be one of the best examples of a ksar with South Moroccan architecture.

The town’s dramatic setting in the desert has not escaped the attention of the west. The UNESCO World heritage site has been used as the backdrop in nearly two dozen Hollywood movies including Lawrence of Arabia, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Mummy, Gladiator, Alexander and more recently, in the Game of Thrones TV series.

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Photo credit: Donar Reiskoffer/Wikimedia

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