On August 24th in 79 AD, 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, diverse entertainments and the interiors of the buildings, with their magnificent reliefs, indicate the wealth and high living standards of Pompeiiís elite.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.