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House of the Black Hall (Casa del Salone Nero) (Herculaneum)

House of the Black Hall (Casa del Salone Nero) (Herculaneum)  

 

 

 

 

 

House of the Black Hall HerculaneumThe house with the black hall was named after one of the rooms whose wall walls are covered with black frescoes. The House of the Black Hall is one of the most luxurious mansions of Herculaneum. It is located at the junction of Cardo IV Streets with Decumanus Street. The house has a large entrance, which still retains carbonated remains of jambs and crossbars.

 

House of the Black Hall Herculaneum

 

 

 

 

 

House of the Black Hall Herculaneum

 

Also pay attention to the ancient Roman advertisement of the nearest store on the right wall of the entrance.


The entrance hall (a), in which several traces of the frescoes of the second style are preserved, goes into a rectangular atrium (b). In the center of the atrium there is a marble swimming pool, implyuv and a track fountain for drinking water on a corrugated shaft made of a single piece of white limestone. The walls of the atrium, built in the Opertum opus, are devoid of any decoration. Opus incertum consisted in the fact that the stones were mixed with cement and thus formed powerful walls. Only a few faded gypsum plots survived to this day. On the west side of the atrium are two rooms and a kitchen (J), while on the east side there is a third room and ala. At the back of the atrium is a large Tablinum (c) - the owner’s office with measurements of 7.7 meters by 5.1 meters.


The atrium and the rooms surrounding it, as well as the rest of the rooms on the east side of the mansion, are in very poor condition. Of all the rooms, the round atrium and tablinum are best preserved. The Tablinum walls are built in the architectural style of the Opertum Opertum with a frame made of square blocks of tuff. The decoration of the fourth style frescoes consists of a black background with central panels depicting the temples. The upper zone consists of geometric motifs of violet color on a white background.


The tablinum opens directly into the square peristyle (d) in the south. On the upper room of the second floor, overlooking the peristyle, twenty wax tablets were found bearing the name of L. Venidius Ennychus. A number of texts were also found regarding his right to a public office. Most likely he was the owner of the whole house as the Romans usually placed their own apartments on the second floor.

The peristyle was surrounded by a colonnade on all four sides. It housed a small central garden. The columns and pillars that supported the inner edges of the peristyle roof are covered with stucco plastered on marble masonry. The two remaining rooms that open to the south side of the peristyle are decorated in the fourth style. Both rooms have vaulted ceilings. The decoration of the rooms (e) consists of white panels with blue and red frames on a white background above the lower black border (in the picture below and left). The upper zone contains architectural and geometric motifs in red and black on a white background. The rooms have a white mosaic floor with a simple double frame in black.

 

House of the Black Hall Herculaneum  House of the Black Hall Herculaneum

The adjoining room (e) (pictured below), is decorated with white panels, framed in red, shares architectural motifs above the lower red border. There is no separate upper zone since it can simply be regarded as a continuation of the main decorative theme. The room also has a white mosaic floor with a simple double border in black. On the south side of the room, a door leads down to a small open area (g) that contains the Lararium Temple. Lararium lost its original design with stucco and paints.

 

House of the Black Hall Herculaneum  House of the Black Hall Herculaneum

On the western side of the peristyle is a large "black hall" (h), after which the whole house was named. The murals were painted in the fourth style and consists of black central panels framed by columns. The room has a vaulted ceiling decorated with geometric patterns on a black background.

 

House of the Black Hall Herculaneum

House of the Black Hall Herculaneum  House of the Black Hall Herculaneum

Opening at the Northwest corner of the peristyle is a cubicle (i), which is preceded by a small vestibule. The artistic style of the walls is repeated by the decoration of the neighboring "black hall". The room is decorated in the fourth style with red panels above the lower black border. The ceiling retains some of its decoration in the fourth style.

 

House of the Black Hall Herculaneum  House of the Black Hall Herculaneum

 

 

 

 

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