Pompeii, now-a-days, has grabbed its position on the tourist map as among the top historical destinations. Now in ruins, it is still a partly buried Roman city located close to Naples in the Campania area of Italy. Having its origin in the 8th century B.C., the city was totally destroyed by being buried due to a two-day terrible eruption of the Mt. Vesuvius. As per the estimates, some 20,000 people used to stay in this city when the eruption took place. This outbreak was so powerful that it buried the city deep up to 5 to 6 m of pumice as well as ash. And after this, the city got lost for some 1,600 years and was only rediscovered accidentally somewhere in 1592. The following excavation has facilitated the archaeologists to have a detailed insight about this rich Roman city life. You should not be surprised to know that this is a World Heritage Site and it pulls over 2,000,000 tourists annually. So, if you are not aware of Pompeii, it deserves an in-depth research by you and that there are several methods of exploring it – BBC’s superb series, great books, and Internet.
Despite the fact that it was covered by volcanic ash, the city of Pompeii as well as its edifices were surprisingly conserved by the nature and are in the same condition architecturally as they were in 79 AD. As per the excavation of the 18th century, it was found that the eruption of 79 A.D. was not the first disaster to bury the city under the volcanic ash. This is because many more layers of ash were found after discovering the paved Roman streets.
Even today the ancient ambience and magic is felt when you visit here its cobbled streets, theatres, forum, baths, amphitheatre, stores, brothel, and houses. On exploring these, one can make out that the lives lived here were not as differently as ours. I mean, the public life was given more importance than the private one. In addition, look out for the graffiti on the walls, a municipal pool, and fountains filled by a channel. And yes, the paintings as well as frescoes will stun you even more, which disclose much more of the tale indicating the pictures of the residents at play, work, and prayer.
Among the major attractions, find out for the pompeii Vettii House, a superb instance the local artwork of Pompeii. For the tourists, this is the abode of many well preserved frescoes. Next, seek how water was supplied to the city via the Castellum Acquae, a dedicated structure. This is something challenging. Its attractive chamber shape along with two huge blocks located in the middle is quite probing. The Marina Gate is one of the entrances that take you to this forgotten city. Whatever gates are present here, they are named as per their destination. For example, this gate is in the direction of the sea and is therefore named so. On the other hand, the Vesuvio Gate faces the volcano.
You will not believe that the city of Pompeii was a holiday spot too even in the ancient days. Want a proof? Then, look for a big ancient hotel that is excavated recently. During the early days of excavation, many gaps were found in the ash in which the folks’ body was in a decomposed state. To preserve their ultimate poses, plaster was instilled in them. This was the time of 1860 and so you can observe the horror on a few faces even today.
Did you know that Pompeii is known as the ‘Grand Tour’ in Europe? Yes, this ruined city has been a great tourist huntaway since 200 years. The ruins are nestled in the Vesuvius National Park and you can come here on foot once you reach the train stop of Circumvesuviana named Pompei Scavi. You can also drive a car to reach here. As of now, the excavation is kept on halt to conserve the remains. Also, several edifices that were once open during the 20th century are now kept closed. However, you still have much to explore. It is also suggested to explore the remains of the sister city of Herculaneum nearby, which was also destroyed by the volcano.