Ksar Ouled Soltane in Tataouine, like in Star Wars

Ksar Ouled Soltane à Tataouine, Tunisie, Star Wars

Discover one of the most beautiful ksour in Tunisia

Located some 20 km south of the town of Tataouine in southern Tunisia, Ksar Ouled Soltane is a well-preserved fortified granary built by Berbers in the 15th century. Built of adobe (unbaked earth), the ksar is divided into two courtyards, each with vaulted granaries serving as food stores, known as ghorfas. In ancient times, the granaries were often fortified to stop looters from raiding village food stores. Like other granaries built by Berber communities in North Africa, Ksar Ouled Soltane is situated on a hill, protecting it from such raids.

Ksar Ouled Soltane was built in the 15th century and consisted of hundreds of ghorfas for grain storage. Later in the 19th century, the ksar was extended with a second courtyard, and the number of ghorfas increased to 400 granaries. The two courtyards are linked by a palm-wood passageway. The ghorfas are four storeys high and are accessed by a steep outside staircase that reaches the door of each granary one by one. Each ghorfas has been allocated and is used by a single family.

Ksar Ouled Soltane à Tataouine, Tunisie, Star Wars

For five centuries, nomadic tribes used them to store grain and olives. On Friday afternoons, the courtyard served as a meeting place for the community, the majority of whose inhabitants had spent most of the year in the pastures with their herds of goats, sheep and camels.

Ksar Ouled Soltane is one of the many filming locations in Tunisia for the Star Wars films, as the slave quarter (« Mos Espa ») where Anakin and his mother lived inEpisode I: The Phantom Menace. The Ksar was repaired in 1997 and restored to its original state, although plaster was used rather than the original materials of mud and brick. It is now a popular tourist destination. The small café at the entrance serves a very bitter tea scented with chirh, a wormwood common in the region.

Ksar Ouled Soltane à Tataouine, Tunisie, Star Wars

How to get to Ksar Ouled Soltane?

Star Wars tours are organized to Ksar Ouled Soltane and other filming locations in Tunisia.

If you’re traveling independently, you can also get to Ksar Ouled Soltane by going to the shopping town of Tataouine and taking a cab to the Ksar there. There is no accommodation at the Ksar itself, so you’ll have to spend the night in Tataouine.

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