Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
New York, New York
June 27, 2009
From journal Morocco: Medinas and Mezze
February 18, 2004
The ruins are a short drive north of Meknes and are reachable by bus. The nearest town to the ruins is the town of Moulay Idriss, named after a former emperor. Moulay Idriss is a nice little town tucked in the mountains and not a bad place to spend the night. There is also a small hotel and campsite near the ruins, but it is probably best to view the ruins as a day trip for Meknes or while on your way to somewhere else.
As for the ruins themselves, they are better than average Roman ruins. If you have been to other ruins like Ephesus, Pompeii, or Palmera, the ruins of Volubilis will not wow you, but you will still appreciate them. What makes the ruins of Volubilis so spectacular are not just the ruins themselves, but also the location of the ruins. They are set on top of a beautiful expanse of green hills that spreads out from the base of the Rif Mountains. From the ruins you can see the pocket of blue and white houses nestled in the green mountains that make up the nearby town of Moulay Idriss. As for the ruins themselves, there are a few wonderful sights. Volubilis was a large olive oil production center so there are plenty of oil presses as well as a few baths. The two most spectacular ruins are probably the capitol, from which you can get great views of the surrounding area, the basilica with it well preserved arches, and the Victory Arch. The Victory Arch was built in 217 AD in honor of the Emperor Caracalla. The arch itself is impressive, but it is easy to imagine how much more impressive it would be if the enormous bronze chariot were still atop it.
Besides the ruins themselves, the most impressive sight at Volubilis are the numerous mosaics which have been wonderfully preserved. The sheer size and number of mosaics at Volubilis is what makes it a special place. Mosaics depicting the tale of Orpheus and Bacchus on a chariot, as well as others, are some of the best-preserved mosaics I have ever seen and make the trip alone worth it.
The views, the ruins, and the mosaics all make Volubilis a great day trip, and when combined with the imperial cities of Meknes and Fes, complete a perfect imperial triangle.
From journal Driving Morocco: Fès and the Rif