Millions around the world may have seen the desert castle in the fantasy series Game of Thrones, but few know they can visit the Moroccan village of Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, according to a report by the American website The Raw Story, Tuesday, February 18, 2020.
But unlike other famous sites in the history of cinema and television, the UNESCO World Heritage Site has so far missed the opportunity for a massive influx of tourism, something some of its residents yearn to change.
Why the story matters: The old fortified castle in the foothills of the majestic Atlas Mountains enchanted the fans in the series produced by the HBO network, and was also a dusty background in the film The Primitive Combat Saga by director Ridley Scott Gladiator.
On the Atlantic coast of Morocco, the city of Essaouira also formed a backdrop for scenes from the series.
But there, too, Moroccan tourism promoters did not benefit from this link.
In contrast, Northern Ireland, Malta and Dubrovnik in Croatia attracted legions of audiences from all over the world, through their links to these works.
What people say: a local tour guide, said: “Many have told me they have come here to see the Game of Thrones filming site. There is cinema-related tourism here, but frankly, we have not developed it as far as it could be. “
An Old man, 61 yo, was a distinguished witness to the history of cinema on the site. He said with a broad smile on his face: “All these productions contributed to building the region’s reputation.”
the old man himself has appeared in a number of films. Although like most of those who live in a more modern house in a village across the valley, he continues to return to Ait Ben Haddou to receive tourists.
After passing through the entrance, visitors enter a maze of winding alleys, which ultimately leads to a public square, where the Casbah residents once gathered. There is a mosque and two cemeteries, one for Muslims and the other for Jews. Most of the population left long ago, and a number of homes have turned into stalls selling handicrafts.
A castle is an ideal place for movies, as it is located a short distance from the studios of Ouarzazate, which are the kiss of Moroccan cinema. Films from Lawrence of Arabia to The Mummy produced here
Recently, scenes from the Game of Thrones series were filmed in Ait Ben Haddou, as the site represented the fictional Yellow City of Unikai, which was occupied by Deniris Targerian, one of the main characters in the series.
House of the Dragon: On a wall at the entrance to Hammadi’s former home, photos testify to the projects he worked on. One shows him wearing old Roman outfits, with director Ridley Scott in Gladiator.
“We have a very rich cinematic heritage and we hope to use it to attract tourists,” said 29-year-old tourist guide Babuz. He added, “But there is no indication that Game of Thrones was filmed here.”
To address this, Babouz and other young people in the village are collecting their limited resources targeting an ambitious project: a museum in the fort that collects photographs from the productions depicted here.
The American HBO network has been given the authority to direct a work narrating the original events on which the events of the Game of Thrones series, entitled House of the Dragon, were built. George R. Martin, the author of the books on which the series depends on his blog, wrote that photography would also be in Morocco.