Volubilis Travel Guide


Volubilis was the capital of the Roman province of Mauritania (Land of the Moors), Rome's southwesternmost incursion into North Africa. Favored by the confluence of the rivers Khoumane and Fertasse and surrounded by some of Morocco's most fertile plains, this site has probably been inhabited since the Neolithic era.

Volubilis's municipal street plan and distribution of public buildings are remarkably comprehensible examples of Roman urban planning. The floor plans of the individual houses, and especially their incredibly well-preserved mosaic floors depicting mythological scenes, provide a rare connection to the sensibilities of the Roman colonists who lived here 2,000 years ago.

If you prefer to see Volubilis on your own without a guide (less informative but more contemplative), proceed through the entrance, and make a clockwise sweep, starting at the newly built, contemporary visitor center. After crossing the little bridge over the Fertasse River, climb up to the plateau's left edge, and you'll soon come across a Berber skeleton lying beside a sculpture with his head pointed east, a deliberate placement suggesting early Islamization of the Berber populace here.

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