Stories

Archaeological Site of Volubilis

by Jorge Sanchez - 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I left Meknes in a bus and arrived already late to Mulay Idris, a pleasant village sheltering an attractive mosque up a hill. The reason to travel there was to visit nearby a Patrimony of the Humankind of UNESCO, in Volubilis, city founded in the III century before Christ. I knew that there was a hotel in Volubilis, near the ruins, but I guessed that it was expensive (it was a 4 stars), that is why I resolved to sleep in Mulay Idris, in an affordable hostel. In the morning I walked to Volubilis, what took me about 1 hour. I hitchhiked at the same time that I walked. Some cars passed by but they were all full, probably they were shared taxis and they leave only when full. I arrived to the site before the official opening, so I waited for a while. The entry fee was only 10 dirhams, or about 1 euro, very cheap for such an important historic place. First I visited a kind of museum with roman ruins. Then I observed the famous Arch of of Caracalla, the main characteristic of the site, and close to it the Capitoline Temple. Once there a man came to me. He was a guardian of the archeological site and started to give me explanations about the place, what I appreciated. 

Volubilis was the capital of Mauritania in Roman times. Then it was inhabited by christians who erected the Basilica, which rests with walls I could distinguish. After the christians the muslims occupied the town until finally it was abandoned. Accompanied by him I went back to the places that I had already traversed because I had missed some important points, according to him. One of them was the brothel, where on its gate there was a stone figure in relief representing a male sexual member. The best were the mosaics, and the guardian showed me the best preserved featuring Bachus with the sleeping Ariadne, Diana with her nymph, the twelve labours of Hercules, or the representation of the Four Seasons. After one hour or so of explanations I felt satisfied, gave some dirhams as baksheesh to the guardian and returned on foot to Mulay Idris, from where I caught a bus back to Meknes. 



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