A fertile plain beneath the mountains of Djebel Zerhoun surrounds Volubilis, the most important ancient Roman excavation site in Morocco. The former administration seat of the Roman African province of Mauretania Tingitana contained all the necessary attributes of a highly developed city.
The ruins date back to the 1st and 3rd centuries AD, a golden time in this region. The production of oil and grain made the city prosper and during its golden years, the city covered an area of around 40 hectares. The Roman settlement remained free from invasion for many years and was therefore able to develop without interruption from hostile forces.
As Volubilis became the most important Roman trading centre and governmental seat in Morocco, an area devoted entirely to villas was developed to the northeast of the Decumanus Maximus Road. The high standard of living enjoyed in those times is demonstrated by the richly detailed architecture of this area.
An allegorical picture of the four seasons is a frequently recurring motif in the floor mosaics of the splendid villas that are located along the Decumanus Maximus Road. Another fine residence, the House of Hercules, depicts the legendary deeds of this hero of antiquity. Even today, almost 1,700 years after the first impressive mosaics were laid within the villas, their colors are amazingly fresh and vibrant.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.