Pompeii. Life and Death in the Shadow of Vesuvius Pompeii

Sat 5th
Pompeii. Life and Death in the Shadow of Vesuvius Pompeii

Exhibits from excavations, testimony of the tragedy that happened 2000 years ago in Pompeii, can be visited right here in Krakow for a limited time only.

This unusual exhibition will open at the Archaeological Museum in Krakow, presenting spectacular excavation material related to the greatest drama of Roman times - the tragedy in Pompeii. Original exhibits from the Archaeological Museum in Naples will be presented for the first time in Poland. The monuments, which are silent witnesses to the catastrophe, are here to tell viewers about the secrets of Pompeii and the Roman Empire as well as about the everyday lives of its inhabitants.

Almost 2,000 years ago, one of the most famous disasters in human history took place. The eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD put an end to Pompeii - one of the many cities of the Roman Empire. Poisonous volcanic fumes and a rain of glowing ash killed all manifestations of life. Everyone who did not manage to escape was killed. In a short time, noisy streets, squares, houses, temples and bathhouses hid under a thick, several-meter layer of ash thrown out from the inside of the crater. Silence fell in Pompeii and time stood still.

Although this sounds unbelievable, traces of the disaster have been hidden for 1500 years, and we owe our knowledge only to chance. The remains of the ancient city walls of Pompeii were first encountered during the regulatory work of the Sarno River in the 16th century. Official excavations began much later, in 1748, at the behest of Charles VIII, King of Naples. Therefore, all the objects found in Pompeii (and the neighbouring Herculaneum) in 1748-1900, found their way to the Royal Museum in Naples, today's Archaeological Museum.

Tedious and laborious excavations in the place where the ancient tragedy took place have been going on for over 270 years. Thanks to the hard work of many generations of archaeologists, the "forgotten city" stopped in time slowly reveals its secrets. Paradoxically, deadly ash has created a protective layer. Just look under it to find yourself again in ancient Pompeii.

The life of the ancient city will be on display at the Archaeological Museum of Krakow. At the foot of Wawel, images of the thriving city discovered by archaeologists will be restored in the "frame" just before the disaster. Priceless frescoes and sculptures, souvenirs that testify to the pulsating life: culture and science, the world of gladiators, but above all what is everyday: the surroundings, customs and objects of ancient city residents. We will also get to know them from a quite private site, visiting home gardens, but also interiors of brothels. Through the paintings of ruins, still delighting with their beauty, the exhibition will also show the magnitude of the tragedy and destruction of the city.

In our part of Europe, a periodic exhibition showing exhibits from excavations carried out in Pompeii was organized for the first time in Hungary, at the Ferenc Móra Museum in Szeged. The exhibition was very popular. Thanks to the cooperation of specialists from museums in Krakow and Szeged,  it has come to Krakow. Over the next six months, visitors to the Archaeological Museum in Krakow will have the opportunity to admire this extraordinary exhibition, especially 114 original exhibits from the Archaeological Museum in Naples. They will include frescoes, marble and bronze statues, items made of silver, bronze, iron and glass. The atmosphere of the exhibition will create an original scene.

The priceless objects must be transported in strict compliance with the safety rules. At the end of September, the collection will travel 1800 km from Naples to Krakow in properly prepared, air-conditioned transporters, packed in special crates and boxes. On site, the collections will be placed in secure cabinets, which will be under the control of Italian conservators.

The duration of the exhibition is a great part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties between Poland and Italy. So, it may turn out to be an event that strengthens these relationships.

Honorary patronage over the exhibition by The Italian Ambassador in Poland, the Honorary Consul of Italy in Poland, the Voivode of Małopolska, Marshal of the Małopolska Voivodeship, the President of the City of Krakow and the Italian Institute of Culture in Krakow.

When: 05.10.2019 - 08.03.2020

Where: Archaeological Museum in Krakow, ul. Poselska 3

How Much: Adults: PLN 29, Children, students, seniors: 19 PLN

Opening hours:

Mon to Fri – 9: 00-18: 00

Sat – 10:00-18:00

Sun – 11:00-16:00

This event happens in Museum of Archaeology