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The Herculaneum Gate or Salt Gate was built in the
Samnite period. However, under the Romans they were rebuilt during
the reign of the Roman Emperor Octavius Augustus. In the history
of Rome, this period went under the name Pax Romana or the Roman
Peace, when the inhabitants of the empire and especially of the
peninsula could not worry about the attack of the barbarians.
Therefore, the rebuilt Herculaneum Gate became more like a triumphal
arch for parades and processions than a military structure. The
central passage was intended for carts, chariots and parades, and
two passes on either side were intended for pedestrians.
Herculaneum gate is a modern name due to a fact that the road to a neighboring city of Herculaneum
passes through this gate.
Herculaneum, like Pompeii themselves, was destroyed on that fateful day. However, in
ancient times they were known as the Salt Gate as they led to the
lagoon (Salinae Hercules), where they mined salt
for the citizens. As you know, salt was an important product in
The picture depicts the state of the Herculaneum Gate in the 19th century and the present photo today. In just
one century, most of the once colorful veneer collapsed. This is one
of the most serious problems for the current archaeological park of
Pompeii. As soon as a part of the city is excavated by
archaeologists, buildinga, templea or other structure begins to fall
apart. The modern government of Italy does not have enough money to
support what is already open. It is logical that the whole regions
of Pompeii still lie underground. It would not be logical to open
them if they begin to fall apart right before our eyes.
Pay attention to the vertical stones along the road. They are so
set not by chance. The fact is that the golden youth of ancient Rome
loved to drive their chariots through the streets of the city.
Sometimes it was necessary to overtake other residents of the city,
driving one wheel outside the roads, in such a way that one wheel
remained on the road, and one wheel drove along the ground. These
vertical stones, among other things, made such driving style
impossible. The stones broke the chariot spokes and prevented
dangerous driving patterns. In general, nothing has changed in