Volubilis is the site of the best-preserved and largest Roman ruins in Morocco. The city has been inhabited since Neolithic times, but saw most expansion by the Romans between 146 BC and around 250 AD. Volubilis grew in this period from the wealth and prosperity generated by the surrounding fertile farm land, exporting grain, olive oil and animals.
At its peak, the population of Volubilis reached 20,000 and covered almost 100 acres of land, and had running water supplied by an aqueduct from the hills behind. The city had all the major building you would expect from a Roman provincial capital, including a Basilica, Temple and public baths. There were also a number of Roman villas with amazing mosaic decorations.
After the Romans left, the city continued to be inhabited for 500 years, and was still largely intact until a massive earthquake in the mid 18th century. Many of the buildings were damaged in the earthquake, and much of the stone from Volubilis was removed to help rebuild the city of Meknes.
During the French rule of Morocco, Volubilis was excavated and some of the more significant buildings restored. During your visit to Volubilis you can wonder around the ruins and see for yourself the huge scale of this Roman city.
Volubilis was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 with the phrase “”an exceptionally well preserved example of a large Roman colonial town on the fringes of the Empire”
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