Volubilis, an ancient Roman City

Updated: 30 Aug 2015)

Volubilis was settled under the Mauretanian Kings from 3 BC to AD 40.
When Mauretania was annexed by the Roman emperor Claudius in AD 45 it was raised to
the status of municipia (free town) and become one of the most important cities in
Tingitana. The Romans withdrew in the 3rd century and began to decline. It was
inhabited by Christians but was Islamicized when Idriss I arrived in 788. The
city suffered extensive damage during the Lisbon earthquake and was abandoned.
As a result the mosaic floors are in excellent condition.

As we drive through the countryside
we see the farmers going about their daily chores.

A shepard has free range over the fields.

The town of Moulay Idriss lies on the route
to Volubilis. The bright white town clings to two rocky outcrops between
which rises the Tomb of Idriss I. Fleeing from the persecution of the caliphs of Baghdad
Idriss, a descendant of Ali, son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed, founded the
first Arab-Muslim dynasty in Morocco. His tomb is closed to non-Muslims and
the entrance is marked to show this is sacred ground.

Golden spring flowers grow at the enterance
the the ruins of Volubilis.

The renovated homes are named after the
mosaics on the floor. This is the "House of Orpheus". The square pool is
decorated with a mosaic of tritons, cuttlefish, dolphins, and other sea creatures.

Fine Roman columns are seen everywhere.

Lacking a suitable chimney or tree the
storks nest on the tops of the columns.

The Basillica in Volbulis dates from
the early 3rd century.

The Basillica was the focal point of
public life and the meeting place where business was done.

Arches of the Basillica in Volbulis

This is a mosaic floor in the "House of the Athlete".
One of the contests during a festival was for the rider to leap from
his horse in the middle of a race and then remount immediately. Acrobates to
jump unto the back of a horse. This mosaic demonstrates the village fool on
a donkey who frequently jumped on "ass backward". Need I say more?

Arch d'Triumph - George C. Scott stood here ("Patton")
When I saw this Arch I recognized it immeditely from the movie. It was erected in AD 217.

Fran rests in the Roman bath

Mosaic floor showing the labors of Hercules

Mosaic floor in the "House of Bacchas" showing
Adoness and Cupid.

Mosaic floor in the Temple dedicated
to the trinity - Jupiter, Juno and Minerva from about 218 AD.

Looking across the vast expanse of the
damaged city. When it was struck by the earthquake everything
was leveled into a pile of stone.

Looking toward the Tangier Gate.
See the golden wildflowers blooming everywhere?
It is February and spring is coming to Morocco.

Come back again, this page is still under construction.

Links to other Moroccan Adventures:

If you have any questions, or comments, I would be interested in hearing from you. Just let me know.

This page was created by Bob "Belli" Frazee

Bob at Grand Tetons, 2015
Belli at the Grand Titons, June 2015

Since September 4, 2005, you are visitor number

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