High Atlas: Places to Explore

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Telouet

The main reason for visiting this otherwise unremarkable village is to see the incredible kasbah of the Glaouis (which is sometimes referred to simply as "Telouet"). Built in the 19th century, the kasbah is now in near-ruin, but the interior still hints of the luxury that once was.

It was from Telouet that the powerful Glaoua family controlled the caravan route over the mountains into Marrakesh. Although the Goundafi and Mtougi caids (local or tribal leaders) also held important High Atlas passes, by 1901 the Glaoua were on the rise. Having secured artillery from a desperate Sultan Moulay el-Hassan, the Glaoua seized much of the area below the Tichka Pass, and were positioned to bargain when the French arrived on the political scene. The French couldn't have been pleased with the prospect of subduing the vast, wild regions of southern Morocco tribe by tribe. Thus the French-Glaoua alliance benefited both parties, with Mandani el-Glaoui ruling as Grand Vizier and his brother Tuhami serving as pasha of Marrakesh.

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