Excursion to Volubilis
Volubilis: “Walili” or “Oualili” in Berber, it is an ancient Roman city located not far from Moulay Driss Zerhoun, this site takes its name from the abundance of the flower bearing the same name, some monuments of the Roman city are still present.
Built a few years before our era, Volubilis was conquered in the 1st century by the Romans who made it a true ancient city. Today, the size and setting of the site as well as the beauty of the mosaics make these Roman ruins the most beautiful in Morocco. Located to the west of the Zerhoun massif on the edge of the Oued Khoumane, Volubilis is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Eager to establish a “headquarters” to control the Maghreb, the Romans invaded the city around the year 40 AD. They build many monuments and squares which make the charm of a Roman city. Forum, basilica, capitol, triumphal arch, bourgeois houses, shopping streets, everything is there! The 40 hectares of the city are soon surrounded by a wall. A real crossroads between north and south, Volubilis is developing thanks to the olive oil trade. At the end of the 3rd century, the Romans withdrew towards Tangier and the decline of the city began. Despite a slight jump in the 8th century with the Islamization of the inhabitants, Volubilis was completely deserted in the 18th century. Sultan Moulay Ismaïl who wants to make Meknes a “Moroccan Versailles” does not hesitate to plunder the riches of Volubilis to build his own palace. Finally, Volubilis was totally destroyed by the Lisbon earthquake in 1755, despite the distance.