Volubilis, the ancient Moroccan city

When the sun brushes against the stones of the Arc de Triomphe, it’s the entire ancient city of Volubilis which radiates over the surrounding northern Moroccan landscapes. As if to remind the good memory of the visitor the extent and power of the Roman Empire two millennia earlier.

Volubilis, another story of Morocco

A few dozen kilometers from Fez and Meknes, the city erects its vestiges with pride under the benevolent gaze of the neighboring village of Moulay Idriss, high place of Muslim pilgrimage. Because here, there are two sacred sites that rub shoulders and overlook the plain with their magnetic grandeur.

Archaeologists estimate that the site was occupied since prehistoric times, before becoming the capital of the territory of the Moors (Mauretania), then to be annexed by the Roman Empire in 40 AD. From then on, the city serves as checkpoint in North Africa and its residents are considered Roman citizens. Thanks to the cultivation of wheat and olive oil, the city prospered and grew rapidly under the influence of its big Italian sister until it reached a population of at least 15,000.

Capitol, baths, basilica, mosaics and aqueduct make the beautiful days of the city which then knows its apogee. In the 3rd century AD, Rome withdrew and left the inhabitants of Berber, Greek, Jewish, Syrian origin to their decline and their Latin declensions. The facilities are dying in favor of new constructions closer to the river. From the 7th century AD, the Islamic era is an important step for Volubilis which sees Idris 1st, great-grandson of the prophet and founder of the Idrissid dynasty, settling in its quarters, before preferring Fez to him. The city will still be occupied for a few centuries then will gradually fall into oblivion unlike its marble which will be used for the building of sumptuous palaces within the walls of Meknes.

Do not hesitate to come from Fez with a rental car and to combine the visit with that of the charming village of Moulay Idriss. The sunset is particularly suitable for a magical and solitary walk through the ruins.

You can then make a loop by taking the N6 and the N13 on the way out then returning by the N4 and its magnificent landscapes on the way back.

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