Atlas Film Studios in Ouarzazate, Morocco

See the Moroccan Filming Location for Game of Thrones and Gladiator

See the Moroccan Filming Location for Game of Thrones and Gladiator

Atlas Obscura
Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
Dec. 3 2013 9:16 AM

Ouarzazate, Morocco: The Photogenic Filming Location for Game of Thrones and Gladiator

Aït Benhaddou Kasbah, Ouarzazate

Photo: Scott Presly

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If the scenery above looks familiar, you may have seen it in a movie. Equipped with camera-friendly kasbahs and Atlas Studios (the world's largest film studio), Ouarzazate in Morocco is an attractive location for movie makers.

The first director to set up shop in Ouarzazate was David Lean, who shot scenes from Lawrence of Arabia there in 1962. Atlas Studios opened in 1983 and has since provided the shooting locations for The Mummy, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Babel, and episodes of Game of Thrones.


Set amid miles of desert, the studios are littered with parts of old movie sets, such as a massive prop jet plane from 1985's Jewel of the Nile and the Colosseum where Russell Crowe did Oscar-worthy emoting for Gladiator.

Public tours of the studio are available, provided there isn't a film in production.

More movie magic:

View Studios cinématographiques Atlas in a larger map

Ella Morton is a writer working on The Atlas Obscura, a book about global wonders, curiosities, and esoterica adapted from Atlas Obscura. Follow her on Twitter.