Taroudant is one of the most beautiful cities in the Kingdom, located at the heart of the Souss Valley and on the edge of the southern foothills of the Grand Atlas. Its old medina, guarded by majestic walls, is a refuge of beauty and culture, retaining its unique charm and ancestral traditions. The medina is charming and quiet, it also holds the memories of a prosperous past and has a history as impressive as the wall that surrounds it.
Away from the crowded tourist trails, you’ll pass through a maze of streets to a world of colors and scents, where architectural and human marvels coexist together. Here are 5 places you must visit if you want to truly immerse yourself in the experience.
The Great Mosque, also known as Al Masjid Al Aâdam, is located to the east of the medina and is one of Morocco’s most famous ones. The mosque and its Madrasa, which were built during the time of the Saadian Sultan Mohamed Ech-cheik, now cover more than 3200m square and can accommodate up to 4000 followers. The building is a true architectural masterpiece, distinguished by its high minaret and mihrab decorated with Kufic script. In addition to being a famous place of prayer, Al Masjid Al Aâdam is a beacon of religious education, training imams, and “Toulbas” until today.
The stronghold, built by Moulay Ismaïl, is located northeast of the medina and is distinguished by watch towers similar to those on the wall. The building displays the evidence of the various forms of renovation it has gone through throughout the years, attesting to the city’s rich history. It overlooks Bab El Kasbah, the medina’s oldest gate, and provides a panoramic view of the building and surrounding gardens.
A traditional tannery, authentic and still in operation, may be found towards the western end of the medina, very close to Bab Targount. You will learn the secrets of ancestral leather production and have the opportunity to purchase all kinds of accessories at affordable costs in the shops next to the workshops.
The market, located between Assarag Square and Talmeklat Square, is home to an infinite number of shops and workshops that offer authentic, high-quality handicraft: leather products, jewelry and silverware, tapestry, pottery, and so on. In a quiet environment, you will stroll along its covered streets in front of well-stocked shops, and you will undoubtedly be enchanted by various works of art.
The traditional Souk, which is livelier than the previous one, is home to a variety of shops and boutiques selling a wide range of merchandise. There are everyday products, clothing, bazaars, pharmacies, grocery stores, and even hairdressers. The atmosphere is vibrant among the colorful shops, and the alleys come alive like apiaries. A once in a lifetime opportunity to immerse yourself in traditional Moroccan culture.
The origin of the Taroudant name is yet unknown. Some attribute it to a Syrian princess, Queen Roudana, who lived in the area, while others believe it has Amazigh origins. The territory was known as Valla during the Roman era, and it housed an advanced base of the Roman army.