Garden of the Fugitives
Perhaps the most vivid and heart-wrenching site in Pompeii is the Garden of the Fugitives. Here, archaeologists found 13 almost perfectly preserved bodies, buried in ash. Among the 13 were entire families with children that were caught by surprise by the eruption while fleeing Pompeii, headed towards the sea. Believed to be one of the last groups to have fled the city, this image frozen in time offers a tragic outlook on the events that unfolded on the 24th and 25th of August in 79AD. While the eruptions lasted around 18 hours, this group of people didn’t flee until the last minute, thereby sealing their fate. Of the estimated 20,000 inhabitants of Pompeii, about 2,000 are believed to have died in the eruption, most killed instantly by accelerated blasts of superheated gas and flames, although some reports claim as many as 16,000 were killed. The city itself was buried in mud, lava, and ash spewed from Vesuvius, completely lost until it was discovered centuries later.
The Garden of Fugitives is only the largest group of the over 1,150 bodies found in Pompei from the eruption. Plaster casts of the victims can be viewed throughout the region, including at the Stabian Thermal baths, the House of Mysteries, Macellum, and Olitorium.
Take a day trip to Pompeii with our knowledgeable guides. There is so much to see and so much to experience.