A Spiritual Experience in the Lost City of Pompeii
The Pompeii Archaeological Ruins in Italy
Pompeii Archaeological Ruins
Pompeii… It took me a while to write about Pompeii. The Pompeii Archaeological Ruins is on the west coast of Italy overlooking the bay and the city of Naples. There was a time when Pompeii attracted affluent people and vacationers to the area, becoming one of the most desirable places for the distinguished and blue collared. Lined with beautiful houses, villas, and shops until that fateful night when Mount Vesuvius, the most dangerous volcano in the world, erupted. It was 79 A.D. History says that the blast was so intense that people could see it even if they were hundreds of miles away. Ash and lava swallowed everything surrounding it—including the city of Pompeii burying about 11,000 residents under 13 to 20ft of volcanic ash.
Pompeii was intact for about 2000 years when explorers excavated and discovered that the volcanic ash had served as a preservative. Little by little as they excavated, they discovered intact artifacts, buildings, and even skeletons in the same position they died. The excavation has continued for the past three centuries and there is still a lot more uncovered.
Touring the Pompeii Archaeological Ruins, I’m amazed at the beautiful architecture of its buildings, fountains, sculptures, and many other surroundings. What stunned me the most was the tile mosaics. They made the mosaics with tiny 1 x 1 tiles. The intricate designs were beautiful and perfectly aligned. How, with none of our current technology, were they able to do that? How many worked on those mosaics, and how long did it take?
Pompeii is huge, there are about 45 hectares excavated. However, many areas are inaccessible. We spent about 5 hours exploring Pompeii and could not see it all. We walked through the many cobblestone streets, stopping here and there for photos and to observe the beautiful landscape of Mt. Vesuvius which sits peacefully in the background. I sat to observe its beauty and thinking how something that looks so striking and serene can cause so much damage.
I Felt A Spiritual Connection
But among all the beauty and amazement, there is also the sorrow factor. I felt sad for those that lost their lives and didn’t know what was going on. They made a plaster cast of the bodies to showcase the impact on Pompeii’s citizens. Adults, children, and pets were among those displayed. Some were asleep, some couples hugged, mothers held their babies in their arms, and others tried to escape, but the rubble from collapsing buildings nearby trapped them. I somehow felt their desperation to escape. I didn’t like the feeling, even though I found Pompeii fascinating.
Acoustic Sound Fit for a Band
One building that looks intact is the amphitheater. It’s made of stone and is 445 x 341 feet with a capacity of about 20,000 spectators. Pink Floyd has been the only group to perform at Pompeii’s amphitheater. They performed in 1972 with no spectators. It amazed them how the Romans put thought into the acoustic qualities besides the structure. They returned to play in a concert in 2016.
The Pompeii Archaeological Ruins was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. It is a place worth visiting. The entrance fee is €11. But make sure you have plenty of time to explore Pompeii because one hour will not even get you halfway. If your imagination is like mine, you can relive the spectacular glamour that existed in the beautiful city of Pompeii and its sad story. The story is not one to entice me to revisit Pompeii, but its architectural marvels, detailed paintings, and mosaics would. I look forward to seeing what else did excavators find in this preserved ancient Roman city.
Originally published at http://travelerwows.com on August 26, 2018.