Mount Vesuvius

Tuesday, 20th June 2006 by

Probably the most famous volcano of all, this is the mighty Mount Vesuvius. Here you can see the crater, which was captured on this day shrouded in clouds.

Way back in 79 AD, Vesuvius underwent a catastrophic eruption which buried the Roman city of Pompeii and its inhabitants under many feet of ash. The city was lost for 1,600 years before its accidental rediscovery, and is a now a major tourist destination - having already provided historians with valuable insight into the day-to-day lives of the Romans.

In Pompeii you can see the layout of the houses (which long ago lost their roofs), and the Basilica is also clearly visible, but here's a good map which should help you identify loads more of Pompeii's places (including the brothel!)

Vesuvius is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years, and is today regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world - not least because 3 million people live in close proximity. The last time it erupted was in 1944, when it destroyed all 88 planes in a U.S. B-25 bomber squadron, and its current dormant period is its longest in 500 years.

Check the wikipedia pages for Pompeii and Mount_Vesuvius for the full history.

Thanks to Tim, Mr.Tea, Jeff Burton, tony, Adam Orford, Ben, Kyle, Garrett, Garrett, Stephen Bates, Tijd, Joez, John Lewis, Clint, Mark Ross, Boniface, Serge Lyubomudrov, n.darcq, Rob B and the other 92 people who submitted this since I missed it out last year!