The ancient Roman city of Volubilis, 31 km north of Meknès, is Morocco’s largest archeological site. In 1997, UNESCO proclaimed it a World Heritage site. Here one may see spectacular Roman mosaics, many in excellent condition and completeness. In 25 BC, Juba II made Volubilis the capital of the kingdom of Mauretania. The city prospered under Roman administration and was a major producer of olive oil. The Capitol and other fine buildings were constructed during the second and third centuries. Idris I made it his capital in 788, and called it Oualili. The city continued to prosper until the late 1600’s, when Moulay Ismail used it as a quarry for building his imperial city of Meknès; an earthquake in 1755 caused further extensive damage. It is remarkable that so much of Volubilis remains to be explored. [Sources: Neos Guide, 2001, Morocco, Michelin Travel Publications; and M. T. Khallouki, 2002, The Golden Book: Fes—Meknes, Casa Editrice Bonechi, Firenze.]

Top row: The Capitol, Tarik in doorway of House of Columns, Triumphal Arch of Caracalla
Second row: Triumphal Arch of Caracalla, colonnade of the Basilica

[arch of triumph][sunset at Volubilis]


Mosaics at Volubilis


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