Explore Herculaneum. As opposed to Pompeii, it’s possible to visit all of Herculaneum in just a few hours. The archaeological park is an ideal stop for those who have limited time but want to experience the thrill of walking in the footsteps of the ancient Romans! Herculaneum has been preserved like no other site in the world, not even nearby Pompeii.
The city was buried beneath 16 meters of ash and mud during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, and this layer of detritus saved two-story domus homes with the internal architecture and décor intact, including features in wood and marble, decorations, jewelry, and even organic remains like food, providing a unique view into the daily lives of the ancient population of Herculaneum.
Herculaneum is named for the mythical Greek god, Hercules, who, according to the legend told by Dionysius of Halicarnassus, founded the city in 1243 BC. Historic analysis, however, suggests that the city was founded by the Oscans or the Etruscans in the 7th century BC, and conquered by the Samnites in the 5th century BC.
In 90 BC the city was dominated by Rome and transformed into a municipium. In the final years of the Roman Republic, Herculaneum reached the height of its splendor thanks to its coastal location, clean air, and mild climate, making it a popular resort town for many of Rome’s patrician families.
The city was vibrant and densely populated when the earthquake struck in 62 AD, causing serious damage; work to rebuild the city was still going on when the tragic eruption of Mount Vesuvius happened in 79 AD.
The cloud of toxic gases from the eruption wiped out the inhabitants, while the entire city was sealed under a flow of ash and volcanic rock 16 meters deep that solidified, preserving almost perfectly intact organic remains like fabric, food, vegetation, and wooden structures. More