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Goundafi Kasbahs Review
Most of the massive Goundafi Kasbahs, strongholds of the Aït Lahcen family that governed the region until independence in 1956, have long since crumbled away. But just past the small village of Talat-n-Yacoub, look up. A great hulking red Kasbah sits at the top of the hill, amid a scene that is today eerily peaceful, with hawks nesting among the scraps of ornately carved plaster and woodwork still clinging to the massive walls. Built as a counterpart to the original Goundafi redoubt in Tagoundaft, the Kasbah is a compelling testament to the concentration of power in an era said to be governed "tribally." Locals say the hands of slack workers were sealed into the Kasbah's walls during construction. There's usually not a tourist in sight. Better yet, its future is secure, since it has been bought for conversion into a restaurant, what will surely become one of the best-placed spots to eat in the area. It's a rocky, although fairly easy, walk up to it. From the Kasbah you can see the Tin Mal Mosque to the south, across the juncture of the Nfis and Tasaft rivers. Just southeast are the mines of Tasaft. The Ouanoukrim Massif (the group of big mountains at the center of the High Atlas Mountains) dominates the view to the north.
- Address: Above Talat-n-Yacoub, about 40 km (25 mi) south of Ouirgane,
- Location: Tizi-n-Test
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