Travel & Culture

The Lost City of Pompeii

Having been lost for about 1700 years, the city of Pompeii was rediscovered in 1748. This ancient city, which has been listed on the Unesco World Heritage List, attracts about 2.5 million tourists every year. Many people wonder why so many people bother visiting an old city such as this one. You must have heard the story of this famous city but I want to provide you with some information regarding the strange story that took place within the walls of this city. Let’s get started.

Located 25-30 km from Naples, Pompeii is a preserved ancient city, which means its remains can still be seen today. Back then, it was a beautiful city that was very close to the island of Capri and the Bay of Naples. It was almost like a place one might call a “paradise”. However, there was an active volcano called Vesuvius near the city of Pompeii.

As for the people who lived in this city, they were all highbrows and rich people. This city was known to be one of the entertainment centers in which people would even do activities like gambling. It was a city where brutality and all kinds of inhumane things happened. It is also known that in this same city, slaves were killed by other slaves, and combats in which they (slaves) were encouraged to slaughter each other were organized. There were a lot of brothels in every corner of the city and homosexuality was considered to be quite normal. The nobles were in great wealth and rumors have it that they ate and then they vomited because they were eating not because they were hungry but only because they could eat and take advantage of the pleasure of eating.

The Great Catastrophe of Pompeii City

The city of Pompeii was destroyed and disappeared on August 24, 79 C.E., as a result of a two-day volcanic activity by Mount Vesuvius. There is a strong belief that the city has been erased from history for its indecency. According to some, Pompeii is a city punished by God. While the city completely disappeared, the people and everything else around turned into stone. These remains were found by a farmer in the 18th century. According to research, about 200,000 people died when the volcano violently spewed lava. People didn’t have a chance to move because of the impact of the explosion. Some people started fleeing to the port while others locked themselves in their houses. Big hot stones started to rain down from the sky during the eruption, so they died no matter what they did to save themselves. Professor Carlo Mirante, an ethnographer, quotes what happened in Pompeii as follows: “At noon that day, the rising ash cloud covered the city of Pompeii in a matter of hours. The people who lived here were unaware of the danger. For example, there were earthquakes but people didn’t care about them.”

Italian scientist Giuseppe Fiorelli couldn’t believe his eyes in his excavations because everything had been petrified. According to geologists, the cause of death of the people was sulfur gas. The reason they turned into stone was hardened volcanic dust. These remains are on display in the Museum of Naples.

The Curse of The Pieces Stolen at The Excavation Site

Professor Massimo Osanna, who is responsible for the excavations in Pompeii, explains that thousands of pieces were stolen from the excavation sites and the myth that these pieces brought bad luck began to spread. It is known that some tourists return the pieces for bringing bad luck. Osanna says he wants to open a museum with returned pieces and apology letters. In one of his apology letters, the American tourist said: “My wife and I toured around Italy and in the city of Pompeii. My wife picked up a piece from there and the bad luck started. Our tour bus left without us and two days later, my wife broke her leg. Please do me a favor and take this stone back.”

It is not known that these pieces or Pompeii really brought people back luck. However, the story of Pompeii is a mere tragedy.

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