Obscurely located in the Moroccan highlands sits a fascinating Roman and Berber ruin named Volubilis. Commonly considered the capital of the ancient kingdom of Mauretania, Volubilis certainly wowed me. Rarely will you find such a well-preserved ruin with almost unlimited access. Let this great city capture your imagination while you enjoy these nine photos of Volubilis.
Marveling at an Ancient Kingdom: Nine Photos of Volubilis that Fascinate
# 1 in Photos of Volubilis – Interior of the Basilica
Founded over two thousand years ago in the 3rd Century, Volubilis serves as one of the best preserved Roman and Berber ruins. The quality and accessibility of the ruins are unparalleled. Really you can pretty much wander wherever you want and explore this fascinating site.
# 2 in Photos of Volubilis – The Decumanus Maximus
The Decumanus Maximus represents the main road in Volubilis, running east to west. I paused for a moment to imagine what type of traffic passed along this route thousands of years ago. As I placed my hand on the archway, I felt the heat from the sun and said and audible “thank you” for being given the privilege of touring such a magical city.
# 3 in Photos of Volubilis: Interior of the North Baths Fed by the Aqueduct
Frying under the beating Morocco sun, I wished the baths were still in working order. Luckily for me I’m accustomed to such heat, considering I call Mexico home. However, other travelers showed visible wear, stopping often to catch their breath, hiding under overstretched hands and umbrellas.
# 4 in Photos of Volubilis – The Capitoline Temple
The Capitoline Temple uses a Romanesque tetrastyle architectural design. A council would convene here to decide things like war decrees.
# 5 in Photos of Volubilis – Original Mosaic Floor
The quality and design of these mosaic floors stunned me with the level of detail. Lasting for centuries under the elements, I cannot even imagine how and why they are still standing. Furthermore, it’s rare that I could get so close to such an invaluable piece of history.
# 6 in Photos of Volubilis – A Series of Columns
These columns have been standing roughly as long as the columns in the Acropolis in Greece.
# 7 Photo of Volubilis – Mosaic of the Four Seasons
This mosaic of the four seasons filled the floor of the dining room in the House of Dionysos. Normally such an ancient artifact would be sitting behind glass in a museum. But in Volubilis you can marvel at this mosaic it its original environment, under the backdrop of the Moroccan mountains.
# 8 Photo of Volubilis – Mosaic Floor
The swastika seen here was an ancient religious icon representing divinity and spirituality. Historically, it held a positive meaning for thousands of years. It was only until the 1930s in Natz Germany where it took on a sinister meaning. Unfortunately recent history has tainted what was otherwise an auspicious symbol.
#9 Photo of Volubilis – The Arch of Caracalla
This triumphal arch was constructed around 217 AD in honor of Emperor Caracalla. Carcalla granted Roman citizenship to his residents and excused them from paying taxes. I think if my ruler allowed me to stop paying taxes, I might just build a moment in his honor, too!
Getting to Volubilis
Volubilis rests two hours east from the Moroccan capital of Rabat. I rented a car and drove, but I would not advise adopting such a stressful venture. Next time I would just hire a private driver. And as Volubilis sits right on the route to Fez, it can be used as an easy stop over on the way.
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