Posted by: vikingsinspace | March 26, 2010

I.4.09.06. Visit Herculaneum

Date Accomplished: 18 April, 2007 

Herculaneum Balcony

The day after visiting Pompeii (See I.4.09.04. Visit Pompeii), I made the trip to Herculaneum with two of my other friends who were with me in Italy.  The prevailing thought is that Herculaneum (modern Italian name ‘Ercolano’) is a better spot to visit than Pompeii because more of the city is preserved.  While this is true, I would still recommend Pompeii over Herculaneum, not only because of the sheer size of Pompeii, but because what is preserved there is more spectacular (in my opinion, anyway…).  Herculaneum did have more of the wood and windows intact, and wasn’t as much rubble as Pompeii, but I thought the mosaics found in Pompeii were more spectacular when you could find them (but the one’s in Herculaneum aren’t bad…). 

Herculaneum Interior

One thing that Herculaneum definitely does better than Pompeii is the freedom one has in the site.  In Pompeii, visitors are pretty much restricted to walking in the streets and looking into homes from outside.  I believe we were able to enter and wander around just about any house we wanted to here.  Also, Herculaneum does give a better impression of just what the streets of a Roman town looked like since the buildings were preserved better.  The cause of this preservation is from Herculaneum actually being buried in a pyroclastic flow, whereas I believe Pompeii was destroyed by falling ash and rock.  

Mosaic of Neptune and Venus

We had an enjoyable day wandering around the town, and I believe we managed to see every building.  I think our plan for covering the town was disrupted by avoiding a couple of school groups, so we may have missed some, but I still think we saw them all.  It was a little hard to appreciate the town as a whole since we had spent all of the previous day in Pompeii, and after a while the houses to begin to just look the same.  

While preparing this, I did come across this great website that covers both Herculaneum and Pompeii here

Frieze

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