We've been wanting to go to Taznakht for a year, a village in Morocco that's simply unmissable for carpet enthusiasts like us.
The artisans of this region create carpets of timeless elegance. In fact, within the same geographical area, we find an impressive variety of styles. The richness of this cultural heritage, the quality of the wool used, the precision of the workmanship, give Taznakht a reputation as the center of the Amazigh carpet in Morocco.
We knew the trip would be beautiful, but we didn't expect the landscapes we found after leaving Marrakech. We arrived in February 2023, just after days of incessant snowfall. It hadn't snowed in the region for more than ten years!
The landscapes were breathtaking.
We love traveling slowly and stopping when we want. Along the way, we rediscovered places where we had been years before and introduced them to our two children, companions on every Casa Amar adventure.
We stopped in the Telouet Kasbah, built in 1860 and progressively expanded by Thami El Glaoui, its most famous owner. Legend has it that 300 workers worked for 3 years to decorate the ceilings and walls! El Glaoui was a powerful and bloodthirsty leader, who had also given support to the French colonial authorities… The stories told by one villager we spoke to made us shudder. Due to the wickedness of its former owner, the Kasbah has been almost abandoned, especially by the people of the village and it is strange to enter and discover artisanal wonders among the ruins.
A few steps away from the Kasbah, we bought a hanbel typical of the region that we couldn't miss. It had acquired a beautiful desaturated red color after being exposed to the sun for months. And a lady over 100 years old sold us her hand carders. They hadn't been used for years and were even a little damaged but to us it felt like we were purchasing a treasure.
Then we went to the Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou, all built with earth and straw. It has been renovated in recent years and it is a pleasure to wander its streets and admire the view.
The Kasbah has been the set of numerous films. Game of Thrones fans may recognize the city of Yunkai, conquered by Darnerys Targaryen :)
Speaking of films, we found the set of a 2006 American horror film "The Hills Have Eyes" in the middle of the mountains, right on the side of the road. What a strange vision!
Along the way, we met many shepherds with their small flocks. And we were happy to see Siroua sheep, a breed of sheep that only lives on this mountain range. Their long, smooth and shiny hair becomes a precious wool, very soft and resistant.
The village of Taznakht is very ordinary and uninteresting... But it makes carpet lovers lose their minds! It is, in fact, full of shops selling this specialty of the region.
However, we made the choice to go only to the cooperative center of Taznakht. A place made available by the State to allow artisans to sell their works without having to rent a place or sell at a low price to a local seller. There we found very helpful experts who taught us the particularities of the region's carpets. We also learned a lot about the use of dyeing herbs, an exciting world!
Here is our selection, after having seen hundreds of carpets as always: