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Only a short distance west of Fez, the fortunes of Meknes, originally a small market town, took a dramatic turn when Sultan Moulay Ismail assumed power in the 17th century. Huge palaces, harems and miles of walls pierced with arched gates were constructed for the royal court.

On his death influence seeped away from the city; earthquakes and rain did the rest, reducing much of the massive works to subsiding mud brick interspersed with monumental gates that remind us of its former glory.

Volubilis

Roman Archway, Volubilis, MoroccoNearby at Volubilis are the remains of one of the Roman Empire’s key Moroccan cities.

The well-preserved basilica, triumphal arch, and columns of the Capitoline Temple all stand below a wooded escarpment, and cast shadows over the most impressive aspect of the city: the mosaics, many of which are as vivid and colorful as the day they were laid.

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Map of Meknes & Volubilis

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