Ouarzazate (Arabic ورززات, DMG Warzazāt ) is the capital of the province of Ouarzazate, Souss -Massa -Draa in southern Morocco and has about 100,000 inhabitants.



Ouarzazate is located about 1150 meters above sea level between the mountain ranges of the High Atlas and the Anti Atlas. The distance from and to Marrakech is about 200 km ( driving distance ). Due to its location it is a hub for traffic in southern Morocco and a tourist center. Near the city of the dam El Mansour Eddahbi which significantly fed by the High Atlas springing River Dades, divorces his water in the Wadi Draa. Lies The Draa flows into an impressive gorge south through the scenic Draa Valley, and ends in the Sahara.


Ouarzazate is reached via the road N9 Marrakech ago; the journey by bus takes about four hours, with the grand taxi three and a half hours. The N10 is the major east-west axis in southern Morocco and connects Agadir / Inezgane with Errachidia. North of the town is the Ouarzazate airport.

Air table


By 2017, electrical power into 3 blocks ( 170 MW, 200 MW, 130 MW) will be built the largest solar thermal power plant in the world in Ouarzazate 500 MW. Construction will take place in the framework of the Moroccan Solar Plan, which provides to install 2 gigawatts of solar energy by 2020.

Electricity is generated in block 1 and 2 parabolic trough technology, similar to the power plants in California and in southern Spain ( Andasol ).

In the third block, a solar tower power plant is built, which is allowed by the higher steam temperatures greater efficiency.

The investment of about 700 million euros is by funding from the European Commission, the European Investment Bank ( EIB), the French Development Bank ( Agence Française de Développement - AFD ), the African Development Bank and the World Bank allows. Germany supports with EUR 115 million, the first phase of expansion, which has 160 megawatts of power. The part of the plant to go into operation in 2014 and produce around 370 gigawatt electrical energy.

The German Environment Ministry providing a grant in the amount of 15 million euros, which takes place in the framework of the International Climate Initiative. The grant will be used as the equity contribution of the state " Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy " in the project company. The German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ ) is via the KfW bank interest loan in the amount of 100 million euros from the " Initiative for Climate and the Environment" available.


Ouarzazate was founded by the French colonial administration 1928. She was a garrison town of the Foreign Legion. On the outskirts lies one of the most impressive Kasbahs of the country - which was built in the early 20th century by Thami El Glaoui Kasbah Taouirt. It is one of the extra large living castles within which rammed earth walls are still members of the Haouza tribe live. The Kasbah is a historically interesting system, since it housed the palace of El Haouzi, the tribal chiefs. About a third of the palace building is open to the public today.

The last El Haouzi of political importance, Thami El Glaoui, collaborated in the first half of the 20th century with the French colonialists and played until independence a powerful role - at times he was Pasha of Marrakech. His attempt to reconcile with the enthroned after the liberation of Mohammed V, failed. Thami El Glaoui died 1955.

Film location

In the near Ouarzazate There are several movie studios, including the Atlas Corporation Studios, founded in 1983 by owner Mohamed Belghmi. Among the best known films that were shot in Ouarzazate, include numerous Bible and monumental films, including " Gladiator ," " The Bible - Joseph " and " The Relic " and "Pope Joan" and " The Physician ".

The anchors act of networked episodes of the movie Babel by Alejandro González Iñárritu plays in the region of Ouarzazate.

A famous Kasbah, as the film location also has great significance is Aït Benhaddou, which is located about 30 kilometers northwest of Ouarzazate.



Kasbah Taouirt, interior

The main square in Ouarzazate

Over the roofs of Ouarzazate