Its beautiful location at the foot of Mount Vesuvius unfortunately turned out to be the fate of the ancient city of Pompeii in 79 AD. Right in the middle of their everyday life the inhabitants were surprised by the eruption of the nearby volcano.

Within just a few hours the city on the Gulf of Naples was completely buried by meters of ashes and was afterwards forgotten for centuries to follow. It was revived though, after its rediscovery in the mid-18th century, making Pompeii a spotlight for archeology and historical research of the ancient world.

Here at Wunderland we had a hard time deciding whether we should show Pompeii before its downfall or during the time of its archeological renaissance. Both scenarios were appealing so we of course decided to depict both of them. And therefore there is now ancient Roman life on the left side of the street, while the rest of the Pompeii model shows the current state of the site with many tourists and hardworking archaeologists.

Building miniature Pompeii has been a major project for us. We did some extensive planning, drew by hand, and finally, using engraving spikes and dentist's cutlery, carved the heck out of the material. It took us roughly 750 working hours. Every single building was lovingly created by hand and is unique in itself. The Jupiter temple in the forum turned out to be a special challenge. It had to be sized down considerably since it would have taken up the entire construction area of Pompeii, had we built it true to scale. Despite the shrunken scale, however, the building fits realistically into its surroundings. We applaud our chief archaeologist Manfred for a job well done!

By the way, the horror scenario of the volcanic eruption that once buried Pompeii happens in Wunderland every 15 minutes. Once night falls Mount Vesuvius comes to life: clouds of smoke rise high, the volcano begins to seethe and spew lava on the city of Pompeii lying at its feet.

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