Non-touristy Roman Ruins

Volubilus Travel Blog

 › entry 6 of 10 › view all entries

Normally when I visit Roman Ruins I get greeted by a group of overweight middle aged tourists standing in a huge pile wearing huge nametags, and just a huge group of people being run through like herds of cattle.  Also normally you don't get to see anything because of to many people standing in the way, and get to hear sexy tales of gladiators and hoar-houses, look at ancient toilets in awe, and just die a little bit inside.  Luckily Volubilus is none of this!


Volubilus was founded by the Carthaginians, you know the guys who bankrolled Hannibal’s march across the alps with elephants?  After they got trashed by Scipio Afrikaanus it would eventually be annexed by Rome and became the capital of Mauretania Tingitana, which is pretty much the modern border of morocco today.

  Apparently back in the day the climate of this area of morocco was much different and there were a lot of "exotic" animals in the area.  So I think the single most interesting thing about volubilus is that it was used to transport lions up to rome to fight christians and prisoners..... pretty cool!

Volubilus also was an agricultural centre for the production of olives, grapes, and grains.  There is a restored olive press based on ancient roman design for the production of olive oil, I think I got myself a business idea?

For art lovers volubilus has many mosaics that are still in tact.  My favourite is this one with lots of sea creatures on it.  Rumor is at one time there was an aquarium in the area.  Another cool thing that goes on there is the Fes Sacred Music Festival, which has a concert every year that costs about 15 dollars to attend.  

Overall a visit to volubilus is not a reason to come to Morocco, but it is a great way to get out of the hustle bustle of fes.  You may want to contact a person to give you a tour before hand because there are very few visitors.  If you get lucky you might catch a archeologists and they will be happy to show you around. 


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photo by: halilee