Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pompeii Ruins Part III

After visiting the theater area of Pompeii's ruins, we walked over to the forum, the heart of the city. The forum has two rows of limestone columns lining it and is surrounded by various civic buildings, marking the area as the heart of the ancient city.

One row of columns in the forum

J in the north end of the forum

A basilica sits in the southwest corner. It's where legal courts and business negotiations were held. It was built in the second century BC. We were a little shocked by one column that looked fake.


Column made of...bricks?!?

Across from the basilica is the Temple of Apollo dating from the second century BC, though parts are from the sixth century BC. The portico has two statues, one of Apollo and another of Diana. Both are depicted as archers and both are copies of the ancient statues which were moved to the Naples Museum.

Temple of Apollo

Diana as archer

Apollo as archer

Just past Apollo's Temple is the remains of a temple dedicated to Venus. It was built late (80s BC) and is on the edge of the city, so a lot of post-eruption looting has left little of the temple.

Temple of Venus

A bit of a column

The Temple of Venus leads to the Porta Marina, a city gate that opened on the road to the sea (hence the name).

Via Marina with the Porta Marina in the distance

Back in the forum, at the north end is the Temple of Jupiter and the Forum Granary, which now holds excavated items and the plaster models made from the holes left by disintegrated bodies. L did not want to see this so we kept her away. The rest of us were interested.

Temple of Jupiter

Vases and a body cast

Detail of the body cast

Excavated items

Some statues

Down the road from the forum is the Central Baths, a building that began construction after the AD 62 earthquake and was not completed by the time of the eruption in 79. The heating system was installed except for the furnace.

Main bath chamber

Another part of the baths

Hypocaust under the floor!

One of the brothels of Pompeii was discovered near the baths. It's called the Lupanare (Lupo is Latin for Prostitute). Five rooms downstairs and five upstairs are decorated with frescoes that show the purpose of the place.

Lupanare room

Lupanare fresco

Partial fresco

Nearby is one of the many bakeries in the town. The bakeries all had brick ovens much like today's brick ovens. They also had areas for milling the grain and for people to eat.

Casa del Forno


Milling stations

Another nearby bakery

Further down the road we came to the Porta Ercolano, which is the city gate that opened onto the road to the nearby town of Herculaneum.

J and L at the Porta Erolano

Our final bits of the ruins are in the next post!

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