On August 24th in 79 A.D., a massive volcanic eruption destroyed the Roman city of Pompeii, when millions of tons of lava instantly petrified the bodies of 2,000 of its inhabitants.
Pompeii is the incarnation of a civilization that was destroyed by this natural disaster. Some of its underground corridors were accidentally discovered in 1594, but serious scientific excavation did not begin until the 18th century. Even today, more than one third of the city remains concealed beneath volcanic rock.
Because of the airtight conditions beneath the lava, Pompeii is the most well preserved ancient city in the world with perfectly preserved streets and buildings that provide detailed information of the former living conditions, trade, commerce and art of Roman times.
The lively city attempted to compete with Rome and offered its visitors and guests abundant luxury and diverse entertainments. The interiors of the buildings, with their magnificent reliefs, indicate the wealth and high living standards of Pompeiiís elite.