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Volubilis

Travel Guide Africa Morocco Volubilis

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Introduction

Volubilis - Basilica

Volubilis - Basilica

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Volubilis was a Roman settlement constructed on what was probably a Carthaginian city dating back from the 3rd century BC. The Archaeological Site of Volubilis is on the Unesco World Heritage List.

Visiting Volubilis, you are struck by exactly how far the Roman Empire stretched and how wide the Roman influence reached. Volubilis was a central city for this part of what was Roman Africa. Volubilis was a key post for contact with the Berber tribes who were some of the original inhabitants of Morocco and who survive today.

Surrounded on all sides by green hills, Volubilis was built as an outpost from which to conquer the tribes beyond the Atlas Mountains. It never came to that, but the remnants and particularly the colossal pillars and mosaics are astonishingly well-preserved. If you want to know more about the ruins, one of the official guides waiting at the entrance will be happy to show you around for about 80-120 dirham, plus tip.

This was home to Antony and Cleopatra's daughter and was a complete, functioning city. Destroyed by two earthquakes, some of what remained in Volubilis was moved to the Archaeological Museum near the Royal Palace in Rabat. Nowadays, much that remains is worthwhile. From a distance, the panoramic view of the ruins is an impressive sight. There is a small entry fee and if you wish, a guide will walk you around and describe the ruins. There is evidence of a Basilica, a triumphal arch, temples, houses, and about thirty quality mosaics. Although the colors have faded, the mosaics are recognizable.

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Opening Hours

8am - sunset

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Cost

Dh 20 entry to the site and expect to pay around Dh120 for a one-hour tour offered by the guides that hang around at the entrance.

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Getting There

You have to arrive by rental car or taxi.

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Sleep

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This is version 17. Last edited at 14:38 on Nov 18, 09 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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