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Kasbah of the Glaouis

Telouet, Morocco

Telouet, Morocco

Photo: K.M. Westermann/ CORBIS

The Kasbah of the Glaouis is not old, yet it is one of the most important sights of yesterday's Morocco. The story began during the hard winter of 1893, when Sultan Moulay Hassan was stranded here. He, and his army of 3,000 was well taken care of by the two brothers Glaoui, Madani and T'Hami. In return of their services, they were given political power of Morocco south of High Atlas Mountains.
In the years that followed the Glaoui brothers strengthened their position, and when the French came some 20 years later, they started a cooperation with them as well. By the end of the French colonial period, the Glaouis were almost as strong in power as the sultan himself.
Of the kasbah here, little remains compared to what once was. The structures are huge, however, and for day visitors, there will be more than enough to fill a day of impressions. The kasbah is slowly collapsing, and parts of the structures can be dangerous to walk through.

Telouet has two small hotels that are simple but adequate. There are a handful of cafés that serves simple, but good food. As for any services, these are attended to in Marrakech and Ouarzazate.
Getting out here is by public transport, buses and a few shared taxis. The selection is limited, so the best way of coming out here is still with your own car, or with and organized tourist trip.

By Tore Kjeilen