"A city locked in time" Top 5 Page for this destination Herculaneum by toonsarah
Herculaneum Travel Guide: 73 reviews and 310 photos
It lay hidden and nearly intact for more than 1600 years until it was accidentally discovered by some workers digging a well in 1709. This has resulted in a different type of preservation of its ruins, with the mud doing relatively little damage to the buildings, instead slowly filling them from the bottom up.
Herculaneum was a smaller town with a wealthier population than Pompeii at the time of its destruction. You can easily imagine that the seaside villas would have been very desirable residences, and the lifestyle of those who occupied them would have been wonderful – sipping wine on the terraces overlooking the bay, with slaves catering to your every need, beautiful mosaics and friezes adorning the walls, a pleasant climate away from the hassles of the city. The narrow streets were lined with businesses and homes. No carts or wagons were allowed on the main street, and most of the pavements were covered with awnings to protect people from bad weather or hot sun.
I loved wandering around envisaging all this – but then also contemplating the terror that must have descended on this peaceful spot when the inhabitants suddenly realised the enormity of what was happening to the mountain that looms over it. Many had sufficient warning that they were able to escape; some however did not, and their skeletons were found by archaeologists huddled together in boat houses on what would have in those days been the beach.
We only spent a few hours exploring Herculaneum, so we didn’t see everything. My tips are just a sample of what you can find here, based around the buildings and sights that most took my fancy. I’ve tried to mix facts about each, taken mainly from the free brochure (see my General tip about this), with my own impressions and why I liked each spot.
- Pros:Smaller and quieter than Pompeii
This food shop, one of several in the town, is annexed to the House of Neptune and Amphitrite, with which it shares a... more travel advice
As well as the private dwellings and large public buildings, you can see several smaller ones that help convey a good... more travel advice
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