South of the Souss Valley and beyond the western end of the Anti Atlas, Tiznit is an old walled medina town surrounded by modern development. It was originally the site of a cluster of kasbahs, which were encircled in the 19th century by some 5km of pisé wall. It quickly became a trade centre and remains the provincial capital, a central point between the coastal towns and the Anti Atlas.
In 1881 Sultan Moulay Al-Hassan (1873-94) chose Tiznit as a base from which to assert his authority over the rebellious Berber tribes of the south. To do this, he built the town’s perimeter walls. Jewish silversmiths were moved into the town and gave it a reputation as a centre for silver. However, Tiznit remained embroiled in local sedition. In 1912, it was a base for resistance to the 1912 treaty that turned Morocco into a French and Spanish protectorate. This resistance movement was led by El-Hiba, the so-called “Blue Sultan” from the Western Sahara, who earned his nickname for always wearing his Saharawi veil.
The city was restored in 1882 by the Alawite sultan Hassan the first who has endowed it with a long wall still encircling the old Medina. Tiznit is a line of ramparts 7 km long and 8 m high, flanked by 56 towers and pierced by five historic gates.
Moroccan Tourism Infos
The old Medina of Tiznit is enclosed by a wall of five historic gates: Bab Aglou, Bab el Khemis, Bab Targa, Bab el Maader and Bab Oulad Jerrar. All of these gates are of Alawite tradition and strongly resemble those of the city of Essaouira.