MEKNES MOROCCO: VISIT TO THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF VOLUBILIS
VOLUBILIS – MOROCCO
The ancient town of Volubilis is in the surroundings of Meknes (30 km) , in a plateau at the feet of the Mount Zerhoun. It’s one of the best preserved and the biggest Roman sites in the world, and it’s also the most important archaeological site in Morocco. That’s the reason why Volubilis was declared World Heritage from UNESCO in 1997.
VISIT TO THE ARCAHEOLOGICAL SITE OF VOLUBILIS IN MOROCCO
When we went into the town of Volubilis, were impressed by the peace and the nature that surrounded this site, a gem not to skip during your Imperial Towns tour. In general we can describe it like a big labyrinth at the open air where every little path takes you to the several structures existing in the past.
Particularly noteworthy among all are the rests of the Cathedral that dominate the entire site: there’s an entrance porch and eight arches perfectly forged and in a very good state. Near there are the columns of the ruins of the Capital where is the althar of the sacrifices and the forum.
During the visit to the archaeological site in Morocco, it’s possible to admire the sumptuous houses of the pas, decorated with mosaic floors according to the fashion of the time.
Sito archeologico Volubilis Marocco
One of the most beautiful ruins in Volubilis is the arch “Arco di Trionfo”, built to commemorate the vistories of Caracalla Emperor: in the classical architectural style with arches and decorative columns. On the facades were engraved inscriptions that tell about battles, while at the top was an Emperor’s statue, probably in warrior stance.
The temples, The temples, that were often built in a style similar to the Dorian Greek one with columns, were part of the community. Talking about columns, we liked the “House of Columns” in particular, so called for its colonnaded courtyard.
There are even the rests of the Roman thermae and also buildings to store grain and squeeze the olives, two most important activities in the economy of Volubilis.
VOLUBILIS – MAROCCO: TOWN OF IDRISS I
We saw it this way from Volubilis: really nice is the secret town of Moulay Idriss, on a hill right in front of the archaeological site. This is the most sacred pilgrim place in Morocco: here is Idriss’ grave, considered Maometto’s discendant and first king of Morocco. In spite of its beauty and its historical importance, this town is still quite ignored by the tourism because of the mistaken belief that it represents an off-limits zone for the Westerners. In reality things aren’t so: it’s a quiet and pleasant place, where life rythm is very slow and the architecture very simple. Unfortunately we couldn’t visit it.
HISTORY OF VOLUBILIS – MOROCCO
It’s considered that Volubilis was founded around the III century a.C. on the site of Neolithic and Carthaginians settlements, and became soon one of the richest and most important town in Morocco. At the Roman time Volubilis knew a great period and continued growing becoming rather prosperous.
From the V century however, period of the invasions from the Vandals, the Visigoths and Byzantines, Volubilis knew a period of decline, even if not total: the new governors preferred the coast areas of Morocco, and this permitted to Volubilis and its inhabitants to remain in the same situation. They didn’t leave the town that continued giving sustenance to its people. In this period many residents adopted the Roman Empire and converted to Christianity.
Volubilis grew again with the first Muslim colonizers’ arrival to Morocco. In particular under Idriss I the town was declared capital of his dinasty. After a little while Idriss I founded Fés that became the new capital.
It’s considered that Volubilis was inhabited in the XI century during the Almoravide, Almohade, Merenide and Saadiano reigns. As time went on the town decayed, and the collapsed buildings were never reconstructed. In XVII century Volubilis was much damaged from the sultan Moulay Ismail, who removed several pieces of stones and marble columns to use them in his projects of reconstruction in Meknes, for example the marble columns to build the door Bab Mansour.
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THE MEANING OF TRAVEL FOR ME
In the last years I follow what Dalai Lama says:” At least once a year go to a place you’ve never been before”.
After years of sufferings and sacrifices, I’ve decided that life is too short and too unpredictable to continue waiting to do what I like and what makes me happy.
I like exploring the world where I live, take photos of it in general but also in its details, film it to hold back those subtle emotions that you could forget over time, and in the end share with you what I’ve seen and felt through my articles.
Travel is for me Love – Freedom – Gratitude
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