Pompeii – 1963

Ruins of the Temple of Jupiter at Pompeii in 1963

In 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted and covered the city in thirteen to twenty feet of ash and pumice. The site was first rediscovered in 1599, and then again in 1748 by Spanish engineer Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre. This quick destruction preserved the city giving us a curiously intimate look into early Roman culture and day to day life.

Today Pompeii is Italy’s most popular tourist destination with 2.5 million visitors a year. It is also an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Temple of Bacchus – 1956

The Temple of Bacchus is one of the three temples at Baalbek Ruins in what is now Syria. While this temple is larger then Greece’s Parthenon it is much less well known. This is despite the fact that it’s one of the best preserved Romans temples in the world.

Temple of Bacchus

Vintage photo of a closeup of the Temple of Bacchus – 1956

Baachus was the Roman God of wine and intoxication. In Greek mythology, he was Dionysus. This temple was built after the Bacchanalia, orgies in honor of Baachus/Dionysus, were outlawed by the Roman senate in 186CE. In this picture we see a closeup of the unfluted Corinthian columns, a typical design on Roman temples.

The temple was made a World Heritage Site in 1984.

Baalbek ruins – 1950s

The Baalbek ruins are the remains of Roman temples built roughly 50 miles from both Damascus and Beirut. Archaeology digs have shown that the area has been inhabited for over 9000 years. At the time of Roman occupation the city was known as Heliopolis, but the Roman temples were definitely built over older ruins.

These photos were taken sometime in the 1950’s possibly as part of the photographer’s Egyptian trip.

Temple Complex

Temple Complex at Baalbek

Vintage photo of the temple ruins at Baalbek

Vintage photo of the temple complex at Baalbek