Some thirty kilometers out of Meknes lies the earliest city in these parts of Morocco, the ancient Roman city of Volubilis. Built in the 2nd and 3rd century AD, it was the capitol of the Roman district of Mauritania. Rome cultivated this part of North Africa as a major agricultural center, deforesting the entire valley and turning it into farmland. When Rome withdrew from North Africa, Berbers moved in and made it their own until Moulay Idriss forcibly moved the population of Volubilis to Meknes and mined the ancient structures for columns and marble for his Imperial city. The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 finished off what structures remained standing, and so it was until partially reconstructed and reopened in 1994. Designated as (you guessed it) a UNESCO World Heritage site, the ruins are a a joy to tromp around in.
Most reconstruction has occurred along the main road of Volubilis, Decamanus Maximus. Fractured columns and partial arches recall the grandeur of this ancient capitol. The bottom left photo below is Triumphal Arch, once adorned with a giant bronze chariot and nymph fountains. Bottom right is the ruins of the Basilica, the ancient Roman courthouse of Volubilis.