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Welcome to my section that focuses on our visit to the ancient Roman town of Herculaneum, buried by a pyroclastic flow in 79AD by the same famous eruption of Vesuvius that buried Pompeii. Herculaneum is better preserved than Pompeii, although it is smaller in scope. Its proximity to Vesuvius gives you better feel for the linkage between the town and the mountain.

Herculaneum is located underneath the modern-day town of Ercolano. It sits more-or-less right on the coast of the Bay of Naples.

Herculaneum was discovered relatively recently, around the early 18th century. Although there was an initial period of some looting, Herculaneum was explored in a more controlled and scientific way by the Bourbon Kings of Naples (who ruled from the beautiful Palace of Caserta - see my other section on that fantastic place!).

Note: additional pictures on these pages that are not in the main narrative have a thumbnail surrounded by a color.
Modern-day Ercolano
A view of a bustling downtown street in Ercolano, a town on the coast of the bay of naples. The town is on top of the ruins of the roman town of Herculaneum, which was destroyed by an eruption of Mount vesuvius about 2000 years ago. [enlarge]
Street in Ercolano
A busy downtown street in Ercolano. [enlarge]
Entrance to Herculaneum ruins
The main entrance to the roman ruins of Herculaneum. [enlarge]
Herculaneum entrance sign.
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Exasperated visitors
Tardiness on the part of the archeological site's workers causes an annoying delay in the opening of the gates to the ruins. [enlarge]
Herculaneum overview
Here's a good overview of the ancient town of Herculaneum, as seen from just inside the main gates. [enlarge]
Excavations at work
looking down into an area where active excavations are being done. [enlarge]
Old and New
A good view of the ancient roman ruins, with modern-day Ercolano above them in the background. [enlarge]
Jenn at Herculaneum
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Herculaneum lower aspect
A view of Herculaneum from the west, or seaward side. The arched openings at the very bottom once faced directly to the shore, and is where all of the residents hid while Vesuvius was erupting. There are many human remains down there. Rising in the background, you can just see Mount Vesuvius. [enlarge]
Entrance to the main ruins
A tunnel bored through lava descends down into the townsite. [enlarge]
Chapel of the four gods
aka 'Sacello dei quattro dei'. Dedicated to the four gods Minerva, Neptune, Mercury and Vulcan. The carved plaques you see are of the gods. [enlarge]
One of the four gods
A bas relief carving of one of the four gods in the chapel of the four gods at Herculaneum. I believe this is either Minerva or Mercury, but am not sure. [enlarge]
House of the relief of Telephus
known in Italian as the 'Casa del rilievi di Telefo'. A neat set of rooms containing a bas-relief sculpture of the myth of Telephus. [enlarge]
Roman Tile Floor
A closeup of a neat section of Roman Tile Floor in one of the houses in herculaneum. [enlarge]
Restoration and preservation
Inside one of the excavated houses at herculaneum. Note the wooden scaffolding put in by archaeologists to hold things in place. [enlarge]
House of the Deer
This is the 'casa dei cervi', or house of the deer. It was a nobleman's house in ancient herculaneum. [enlarge]
Frescoes in the house of the deer
Some closeups of some of the preserved walls paintings in the house of the deer. [enlarge]
Room, house of the deer
A room with bits of preserved finished wall. [enlarge]
Roman Jacuzzi
An example of what a Jacuzzi would be like, Roman-style. [enlarge]
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[ Italy 2005 trip home page | The main trip report | Family | Monte Cervialto | Herculaneum & Vesuvius | Palace of Caserta | Amalfi & Capri | Abruzzo & Monte Amaro | Rome | Tuscany | Venice | The Biennale | Via Ferrata-ing in the dolomites | Climbing in the Ortles | Gottfried's Adventures | Maps, Graphs & GPS Data ]

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