Murailles : un charme indéfinissable

Murailles : un charme indéfinissable

Photo Soleil de Taroudant.

Porte de la kasbah

Porte de la kasbah

Récemment rénovée

Carte de Taroudant

Carte de Taroudant

Elle montre les portes principales, les places et les souks (source : Riad El AissI).

Murailles vues de l'intérieur

Murailles vues de l'intérieur

Faites de pisé, elles s'effritent sous l'effet du soleil, de la pollution et des rares pluies, et sont en reconstruction permanente à un endroit ou à un autre

Scène du soir

Scène du soir

Une ambiance particulière

Scène de la vie quotidienne

Scène de la vie quotidienne

Les anciennes traditions l'emportent encore sur la modernité

Murailles et palmiers

Murailles et palmiers

Voilà pourquoi l'enceinte de Taroudant est la plus belle du Maroc

Taroudant: the most beautiful walls of Morocco

Nicknamed "the little Marrakech", Taroudant has a rich history that is two thousand years old. A thousand years older than the Ocher City, it is also surrounded by more spectacular, visible and complete walls. These ramparts are among the most beautiful in North Africa. It can be reached in around 40 minutes by car. Prefer the National road which passes through the center of Ouled Teima, rather than the express road, whose route is longer.

Made of earth, lime, gravel and red bricks, the magnificent walls that surround Taroudant are a unique attraction. They are complete, but in permanent reconstruction, in one place or another, as soon as they deteriorate under the combined effect of the sun, pollution and rain (it does not fall ... rarely).

They can be walked around without interruption as long as a road runs along them completely. It is thus possible to stop at any place that seems interesting.

A very pleasant form of visit consists in taking one of the carriages which offer a circular discovery, giving the opportunity to see for example the late tannery installed just outside the walls (see the video at the bottom of this page). Negotiate the price of the carriage ride at the start!

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

Our advice for a carriage ride: Boujemâa (former employee of the Knie circus), 00212 6 26 18 58 67

Caton le jeune ou d'Utique
Caton le jeune ou d'Utique

Son buste fut découvert à Volubilis. Il est aujourd'hui exposé au Musée d'archéologie de Rabat.

Calèche
Calèche

Une plaisante manière de faire le tour des murailles de Taroudant

Tannerie de Taroudant
Tannerie de Taroudant

Des odeurs et des couleurs...

Massinissa
Massinissa

Deux siècles avant le début de notre ère, le premier roi amazigh connu, Massinissa fonde le royaume de Numidie avec l'aide des Romains.

Restaurant Vala
Restaurant Vala

Il est situé à l'entrée de Taroudant, à gauche lorsqu'on arrive du Jardin aux Etoiles

Le roi berbère Juba II
Le roi berbère Juba II

Epoux de la fille de Cléopâtre, il régna sur un territoire plus vaste encore que celui de Massinissa, au nom de Rome. Un soulèvement berbère obligea les Romains à se retirer du Maroc actuel. Les Vandales, qui envahissent le Maghreb au Ve siècle, ne parviennent pas davantage à soumettre les Imazighen.

Royaume de Numidie
Royaume de Numidie

L'actuel Maroc constitua une partie importante de ce royaume berbère appuyé par Rome

Juba  II
Juba II

Elevé par Octavie, il devint l'ami d'Auguste qui lui remit la province de Maurétanie en 25 avant Jésus-Christ. Né en 50 avant ce dernier, il mourut en 23. Au verso de ce denier figure la tête de son épouse Clépâtre Séléné, fille de la grande Cléopâtre et de Marc-Antoine.

A fortified outpost of the Roman army

Most historians agree that nearly 2000 years ago, Taroudant was named Vala, which would come from that of a deified Roman or Syrian, representing beauty. It was a fortified outpost of the Roman army in the middle of enemy territory. The Berbers who populated it were still largely nomadic and engaged in a merciless struggle against the Romans. Vala was in the Gétules zone , located in the south of Tingitane Mauretania.

The Roman presence in present-day Morocco was not negligible. The ruins of Volubilis are there to bear witness to this vividly.

The name "Vala" is still popular in Taroudant. An association called Opéra des arts expressifs organized in the city of Souss the first Vala Meeting for dance and expression for young hip-hop lovers. A restaurant located at the entrance to the city is called Vala . It's traditional ... and pretty good.

Directed by Aziz, a construction company also bears this name. It is the same for a metal carpentry and a private school of hairdressing and aesthetics . On Facebook, there is an Association Gnaoua Vala - Taroudant which brings together traditional musicians. The group Vala Wind makes good music and thus pays homage to its city.

Six kilometers of ramparts

The ramparts are six kilometers in length. They allow passage through nine arched doors of Moorish architecture, arranged mainly at the cardinal points. No less than 130 towers and 19 corner bastions overlap, which has made the city an impregnable citadel throughout its long history. The small fortified Berber town which succeeded, much later, the Roman outpost, came under the control of the Almoravids in the 11th century. It regained its freedom at the time of the Almohads, before its destruction in the 14th century by the Merinids.

Founder of the Saaadian dynasty, Mohammed Cheikh Saâdi made it his capital and a base for his offensives against the Portuguese settled in Santa Cruz du Cap Ghir, that is to say the current Agadir. Driven by its exports of sugar cane produced in the Souss valley, as well as its status as a caravan center, Taroudant lived a golden age until the 18th century.

This prosperous period ended when the port of Agadir was closed in 1760, having been supplanted by that of Essaouira. Centuries of stagnation followed. The development of tourism during the second part of the 20th century finally restored the splendor to the former Saadian capital.

A museum that remains to be imagined

The museum that would explain the origin of the ramparts, their strategic importance over the centuries and their architectural fragility remains to be imagined. Claudio Bravo's Palace, an eminently private work if there is one, makes up for the shortcomings of the public sector. It is a place to be visited as a priority by any visitor to Souss and especially Taroudant.

The recent restoration of the series of doors to the Kasbah shows the right path that the Roudanies authorities in charge of tourism should take. Hitherto dilapidated, these now shine with a new radiance in the Roudanie night. A beautiful work of craftsmanship has been done. The main door is called Bab Sedra, that is to say "the door of the sedra", from the name of the typically Moroccan small shrub which gives berries, fluffy when they are dried, and which are eaten. Others claim it is the cedar gate.

The ceiling is built according to the traditional method which uses an assembly of perpendicular wooden beams found throughout the region. There would already be enough here to explain, through panels, some of the aspects of the Roudani cultural heritage!

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

At the end of 2015, a Space for the Memory of the Resistance and the Liberation of Morocco opened in the north of the city, near the Polydisciplinary Faculty . But, despite the fleeting inclinations of associative circles, the local authorities seem incapable of carrying out the great achievement that Taroudant deserves. And yet, the Dar El Baroud Palace would be likely to offer the city a useful destiny, a prestigious vehicle that it lacks so much.

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

As in the whole of the Kingdom, the Jews left the region when Morocco gained independence, even as the brand new State of Israel called them. The former Israelite community is now looking for its identity in Taroudant and the surrounding area . You can still visit the Jewish cemetery, as well as the old synagogue, transformed into an antique store named Aladdin , very beautiful and quite expensive.

Tours
Tours

Elles sont placées de manière très régulières tout au long de l'enceinte

Les murailles côté ouest
Les murailles côté ouest

Telles qu'elles apparaissent lorsqu'on arrive du Jardin aux Etoiles, en ayant emprunté soit la route Nationale, soit la route express

Palais Salam
Palais Salam

Cet hôtel et son excellent restaurant sont adossés aux murailles

Porte de la kasbah
Porte de la kasbah

Rénovée récemment

Porte de la kasbah
Porte de la kasbah

Dans son état au début du 20e siècle

Créneaux
Créneaux

Ils sont caractéristiques des murailles du Maroc. Photo Martine Hervé

En calèche
En calèche

Une manière agréable de découvrir les murailles de Taroudant

Taroudant, très ancienne cité
Taroudant, très ancienne cité

Ici une porte de bois et une fenêtre avec fer forgé typiquement berbères

Map of the city of Taroudant. Click to enlarge!

Not as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside

For a visitor, it is not easy to find one's way around, inside the walls of Taroudant. The Google Maps map above gives the keys to the city with five doors, which claims 80,000 inhabitants. Click to enlarge.

The very typical character of this large, lively town appeals to many visitors. In the eyes of many, Taroudant is unfortunately not as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. Some places, like the open-air parking lot south of Assarag Square, which we talk about below, are dirty.

A visit to the Berber souk, near Tamalklat Square, is nonetheless perfectly worthy of a visit, as one of the videos below shows .

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

Another curiosity worth seeing: the tannery, its mysteries and the many operations that take place there. You can get good deals there. .

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

Many guest houses have been fitted out in recent decades inside the ramparts. However, they are not visible at first glance. In Morocco, we hide what we have most precious, and Taroudant is no exception to the rule.

The center of the city

Assarag Square is the center of town and life. It is reached, in a straight line, by the west gate, called Targhount. It may happen that by car you find yourself stuck in a very small street, obviously not equipped with the "dead end" signal, which will leave you no other choice than a delicate reverse gear. But we will help you: there will always be a few Moroccans ready to help you and give you more or less wise advice.

All the administrative buildings, which are contemporary and often quite prestigious, as well as most of the banks were built outside the ramparts, on the road to Ouarzazate. There, it is much easier from a traffic point of view, but less typical.

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

Farah Dibah and Jacques Chirac

Quite a few personalities remain all year or part of it in the city with the ramparts. Among these: Farah Diba, ex-empress of Iran, "queen" of Taroudant.

Former French President Jacques Chirac and his wife Bernardette have long been the hosts of the Gazelle d'Or . They then frequently stayed in Agadir, before their health deteriorated in 2016.

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

A great lady of French literature, Marguerite Yourcenar made two trips to Taroudant, in 1981 and in 1987. Her haunting memory still lurks in the Palais Salam .

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

Taroudant and its surroundings served as a setting for filming. The famous comedy Ali Baba and the 40 thieves , with Fernandel, was filmed mainly in the Palmeraie very close to Tiout . More dramatic, Agadir-Bombay , which deals with the delicate subject of prostitution in Morocco, had for setting not only Agadir, but also Taroudant, city of origin of the main character, Imane, and of the father of the Franco-Moroccan director Myriam Bakir .

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

Our recommendations in Taroudant and nearby

 
You can reach Taroudant in about fifty minutes from the Jardin aux Etoiles.

Taroudant on the Jardin aux Etoiles blog