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Volubilis

Morocco is home to many archeological sites, which attract many tourists due to their history and characteristics. Volubilis is one of the leading sites, and in this article, we will be looking at the history of this place and the activities you can do while visiting this place.

Volubilis

Volubilis is a Roman site in Morocco. It’s an archaeological site, which means that it has been excavated, and researchers have removed some items from the ground so you can see them at museums or through pictures.

Volubilis
Volubilis

History of Volubilis

The history of Volubilis goes back to before the Romans ruled over the area when different Berber tribes occupied it. But once Rome took control of the area, they started constructing Volubilis as a city with public baths, temples, forums (the center of public life), basilicas (a Christian church), etc., just like Rome had! 

Excavations show us that people came from all over northern Africa to trade at Volubilis because it was on the trade route or a path that people used to travel between cities. It may have been on the coast, but it was in a dry area instead of the desert, making it an essential city for trade.

Volubilis Morocco
Volubilis, Morocco

 The Roman Empire stopped ruling over Volubilis around 470 AD when invaders came and took over their territory. During this time, some of the buildings were destroyed or damaged because they used them as quarries (a place where the stone is taken from) to build their own homes! But even though parts of Volubilis are gone today, enough has survived so we can see how it looked 2000 years ago!

Importance of Volubilis

Volubilis is an archaeological site in Morocco. Since it has been excavated and researchers have removed some items from the ground so you can see them at museums or through pictures, we know a lot about Volubilis. The history of Volubilis goes back to before the Romans ruled over the area when different Berber tribes occupied it. But once Rome took control of it, they started constructing Volubilis as a city with public baths, temples, forums (the center of public life), basilicas (a Christian church), etc., just like Rome had!

Excavations show us that people came from all over northern Africa to trade at Volubilis because it was on the trade route or a path that people used to travel between cities. It may have been on the coast, but it was in a dry area instead of the desert, making it an important city for trade.

The Roman Empire stopped ruling over Volubilis around 470 AD when invaders came and took over their territory. During this time, some of the buildings were destroyed or damaged because they used them as quarries (a place where the stone is taken from) to build their own homes! But even though parts of Volubilis are gone today, enough has survived, so we can see how it looked 2000 years ago!

When was Volubilis built, and by who?

Volubilis was built around 60 BC. Some of the building materials were brought to the site by boat from the Atlas Mountains; others were already there! The first people who settled there were the Phoenicians (they helped start Carthage).

volubilis ruins Morocco
Volubilis ruins, Morocco

What kind of buildings were there?

There are temples- which are places where citizens worshipped different gods and goddesses. There is an amphitheater where citizens would go to watch plays, eat, and other sporting events. There are also houses for ordinary citizens.

Why was it considered an important city for trade?

The Atlantic Ocean was not far away, so ships could carry goods back and forth between Volubilis and Northern Europe or Morocco/Tunisia/Western Europe.

  

What happened to parts of Volubilis after it stopped being a part of the Roman Empire?

Parts of the city were destroyed in battles, but people still lived there for hundreds of years after this! The French invaded Morocco later on and turned Volubilis into an agricultural center, which means they grew products like olives, figs, grapes, wheat, etc.

There are ruins that show that corn was grown in the area! Part of Volubilis was destroyed by earthquakes too, so there are not very many buildings left standing today.

volubilis mosaics
Volubilis mosaics, Morocco

Where is this site located, and what does it look like today?

Volubilis is near Meknes (about 25km away). It is located in a small town called Moulay Idriss Zerhoun. The site looks like a bunch of large grassy hills with rocks and smaller buildings sticking out of them!

How can I hire a professional guide to explain things to me while I am visiting this site with my group if my mom or dad knows nothing about archaeology? You can hire a professional guide; however, it is really expensive (about $100 per hour). If you go during the school year, many high schools will be able to take their students there for free if they apply in advance!

Activities you can do while visiting this site:

Take Pictures

You can take pictures of the sites to show your friends and family, or you can take pictures of yourself acting out different things! Some ideas: Ancient Romans at the market, a ballgame between two teams where one team is Ancient Romans, and one team is Visigoths (barbarians), what you would have worn if you were an Arab citizen of Volubilis, etc.

Look Outside

The Visigoths were conquerors who came from Germany in what is now Eastern Europe. They invaded Rome in the 5th century AD because their lands had become overpopulated, and they wanted more land to settle on. They were successful for a while but eventually lost power when other groups migrated into their territory.

Spend Night

Suppose you want to release dopamine and wanna have a really fantastic tour experience. Then it is suggested to spend a night at the Volubilis, which is a very beautiful and silenced place. At night you can see the glittering stars in the open sky.

Draw

You can draw what parts of Volubilis look like today, or you can draw what it looked like 2000 years ago! This will help you to increase your creativity and drawing skills.

Take video

If you have a video camera, you could make a movie about Volubilis! You can edit the videos and post them on youtube. In this way, you can earn some good views and fame as a vlogger.

Listen to the audio guide

If you are there with someone who is an expert in archaeology, they might be able to tell your group about different parts of Volubilis.

Tour around the site at night

It’s not very well known, but some people think that ancient civilizations were more active at night because they may have believed in spirits living in nature, so they didn’t want to disturb anything. Maybe they spent time at night making art or telling stories? So you could go around the site and see if anything jumps out to you!

Ask questions

If you have any questions about what an archaeologist does, this is a good place to ask because it’s an archaeological site!

You can hire a professional guide.

Instead of asking your mom or dad to explain things, you can pay a professional archaeologist, and they will explain different parts of the site.

Visit Volubilis from Fes

The best way to visit Volubilis from Fes is taking a day trip from Fes to Volubilis and Meknes, the day trip starts from your accommodation in Fes and drive toward this iwe-inspering and most-preserved archeological site in Morocco. Find out more about this day trip here.

Conclusion

Volubilis is a great historical place, and in this article, I had enlisted the history about this place, the importance of this site, and when this site was built.

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