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The House of the Garden Hercules

The House of the Garden Hercules

 

 

Location: Regio II

Insula 8

 

 

 

The House of the Garden Hercules  The House of the Garden Hercules

The House of the Garden Hercules is a prosperous private residence on the intersection between Via Nocera and Via della Palaestra. The house was discovered in 1953 and excavated over a course of several decades. The house gets its name from a small shrine in the garden that is dedicated to Hercules. It is possible that the owner especially loved his outdoor area. He or she even constructed an outdoor triclinium or a dining area under shades of olive trees that once grew here. The rest of the house is fairly well preserved. Some of the private quarters still contain colorful frescoes that were painted on the walls.

 

 

 

The House of the Garden Hercules  The House of the Garden Hercules

The House of the Garden Hercules was named after a small statue of the mythical hero Hercules in the garden of this small private residence. The statue stood in a small house shrine. Despite the modest size of the house itself, the owner apparently spent his time in the garden. Archaeologists have found the base of the order of four houses that once stood here. The owner bought all these four houses in the first century of our era, and then demolished them. In their place, he broke the great garden. During the excavations, archaeologists found in the remains of the table and traces of the last dinner. The House of the Garden Hercules itself is preserved in fairly good condition. Some walls have preserved remains of colorful frescoes.

The House of the Garden Hercules was excavated in 1953-53 and again in 1972-74. The last time it was dug up was by the collaborators of the University of Maryland. They concentrated their attention not on the house, but more on the garden. They were interested in the underground remains of an ancient garden. According to the roots, they were able to establish exactly which plants grew here. To their surprise, they quickly realized that most of the plants from this garden could be used for the production of perfumes and fragrant oils. Therefore, The House of the Garden Hercules is sometimes referred to as the House Perfume. Whether it was a personal hobby of the owner or a big business is difficult for us to say.

The location of the house is quite typical for rows of houses in the surrounding neighborhoods. Entry (a) opens on the east side of Via Nosera. A corridor that does not have preserved plaster leads to a rectangular courtyard (b), which acted as an atrium or a living room of a mansion. The courtyard, as well as the corridor, is completely devoid of any decoration, however, like the two Kubala rooms (s), on either side of the entrance. The passage to the center of the eastern wall of the courtyard is a corridor leading to a small garden (h) in the eastern part of tThe House of the Garden Hercules. On the south side of the corridor is a large room (d), which completely opens the corridor across its width.

The House of the Garden Hercules  The House of the Garden Hercules

In the northwestern corner of the garden are the remains of the water system (j). In the closed corner walls there are large panels of plaster, painted white over the bottom dark red frieze. In the middle of the east side of the garden is an open triclinium (k). Next to him on the next wall were found the altar and the edicule (l), dedicated to the mythical hero Hercules. It was here that the statue of Hercules was found, which gave a name to the whole mansion.