•HISTORY AND CULTURE
Es Smara province is located in the heart of Saharan provinces, which gives it a strategic part which hasn’t stop growing during the recent past. It has constituted a important step on the caravaneer commercial life which was blooming between the north of the kingdom and the south-west of Africa and whom the influence reached Timbuktu.
The Rguibats tribe would have descended from the Marabout named Sidi Ahmed Reguibi (15th century). He was living on the foot of the wadi Noun.
The Rguibats are dromedaries ans sheeps farmers. They read the Koran, studied sciences and lived from different trade amassing goods.
Only the Ma-el-Aïnine confraternity founded by the cheikh Ma-elAïnine during the reign of the sultan Hassan the 1st will manage to set up in the heart of the Rguibats territory, at Es Smara The works began in 1884 and concerned the mosque, a zouia, theology class, a library, rooms for students and residence for the cheikh’s four wifes. He selected a water point surrounded by rushes, called in Arabic “smar”, in the Seguiet el hamra valley, near to a small tributary of the wadi. The future fortress will be called Smara. Another account tells that the name of the town is derivated from smar, name of Graminaceae which grows in abundance on the selouane wadi, the stem of this plant is used to make very appreciated mats. Smara is a saint city because it gathers, within a range of 100 kms, three importantzaouïas : Sidi Ahmed-Rguibi, Cheikh Ma-el Aïnine and Sidi Ahmed-Laaroussi
Traditional morocco-leather tanning, within the province, allows
the making and the decoration of articles made from goats hide and
appreciated and used for its suppleness : simple or
embroidered cushions (assermi), travel
bags (tassoufra), snuffboxes,
Wood work : craftmen
working and decorating
wood produce mainly
Jewellery : precious metal craft
is the fruit of the inhabitants and very old
technics having given birth to a jewellery which gives
evidence of the richness, the variety and the refinement of a set of jewels :
rings, bracelets, ankle rings, necklaces…
Numerous cooperatives have been created and
gather number of craftmen. A 280m² surface
craft unity has been created. It is made up of
13 craft workshop, 2 rooms for embroidery,
sewing and wood work vocational training,
tapestry room, exposition room and a
warehouse : must be visited.
G24 At 20 km, southward of Es-Smara, cave engravings site, you will
follow a track along the wadi Selouan
G25 At 23 km, cave engravings of the wadi Selouan.
G26 At 30 km, cave engravings of the wadi El Aasli Boukerch, at the edge
of the wadi, drive till the rocky crest where you will find plentyful of
G27 At 80 km, cave engravings of Amgala, head for due South, pre-islamic
Tombs, rendez-vous for various and numerous graffiti.
G28 At 135 km, cave engravings of the wadi Tazouwa, due North, 2
magnificent pre-islamic Tombs and cave engravings.
G29 At 145 km, cave engravings of the wadi Mirane exceptional preislamic
tombs and uncommonly rich cave engravings on several
thousands of meters.
To visit the cave engravings sites in the wadi Aasli valley, westward of Es-
Smara, it is recommended to follow the route done by Michel Vieuchange.
Born in Nevers in 1904, he left at 25 years old to cover a 1 374 km trip
through the “white stain” on the desert map and will make of him one of
the most beautiful figure of Saharan exploration.
One month and a hald of self-sacrifice leaded him to death and made of
him an hero. For this trip you need a four-wheel-drive (filled up with fuel
In memory to Michel Vieuchange
«This night, I stayed a longtime before falling asleep. Thought a lot to Smara in
particular. Be successful seems to me essential. I am ready for anything…”»
Smara, city of our illusions…
“We walk towards you like abductors / We walk towards you like penitents / And
we will say to the friend or to the one who will call us on the road : I don’t know
you / We walk towards what is up to the top / Will fill up dawn / which will make
it so purified / All the sources will be then beautiful / And we will be allowed
to drink / And the noise of the open sources will germinate in the silence / The
fleshes, the sick hearts, will find again the suave day / We will go out armed /
Like the ones who are not afraid by contempt nor smile / Towards places where
man fights, to carry out our task.”
•Hotels, Inns, Restaurants…
Where to go ?
In most cases, these hotels or inns will serve you typical and good-quality
food. You will find in all the villages, on the the roadside, excellent tagines
(prices to be negotiated).
AMINE HOTEL RESTAURANT NC
028.88.73.68 – ES SMARA Centre
CAMPING RELAIS MICHEL VIEUCHANGE
Km 29 - Route Laâyoune
km 29 - Route de Laâyoune