Wealth of architectural heritage
Location: Souss Massa region
Its cities and countryside abound with architectural treasures: Medinas, Walls, fortified granaries called Igoudars, Ksours and Kasbahs. The Medinas of the cities of Taroudant and Tiznit are two medinas classified National Heritage since the 1930s, they will completely disorient travelers with the atmosphere of their souks.
In rural areas, the Anti-Atlas is also extraordinarily rich in fortified granaries, called agadirs in the Berber language. These are real safes for the villages of the region. Collective granaries, seen from the outside, can look like a kasbah. Some granaries are still in operation but most tend to be abandoned.
In southern Morocco, there are several kinds of granaries:
- granaries placed on rocky peaks = Agadir Tasguent, Inoummar, Amtoudi Granaries
- cliff / cave granary= Ifri Imadidene
- quadrangular ground granry= Ait Kine
- oasis granary = Tiskmoudine Granary
The kasbahs, typical fortresses, are curiosities of the region. We generally speak of kasbah for a building of square plan with four towers at the angles, built of mud and usually intended to house a family of notables. This type of habitat is of Berber origin and it is called here tighremt.
The oldest kasbahs date from the 17-18th century, but most date from the last century, because before, the population of the pre-Saharan valleys always lived in the fortified villages (ksour).
The ksours (ksar) are villages surrounded by a perimeter wall and protected by watchtowers. These villages can contain dozens or even hundreds of dwellings inside, with mosques, streets, communal facilities and central place for events. All the ksour have one or more entrances (large decorated doors).
The ksour may be thousands of years old, but some were built in the 19th century by ancient nomadic tribes. One or more kasbahs can be found within the same ksar. The ksour – fortified villages are much more numerous in the eastern valleys (close to the Sahara).
In addition to the casbahs and ksour present in the region, there are also other traditional buildings of raw earth: the marabouts or mausoleums which cover the tomb of a saint.
However, these historic sites of great architectural and cultural value suffer from the degradation of their buildings, threatening ruins in places.
For a trip to Souss Massa worthy of the name, it is important to immerse yourself in this unique heritage by visiting these magical places!