Porta Marina, Pompeii
The Marine Gate now serves as the entrance to the town, however in ancient times, Pompeii was a seaside town (and they say global warming is a new thing...pfft!). The Marine Gate used to seperate the port from the main town. Pompeii is built on a lava plateu, and as such the road up to the town from the harbour is very steep. It must have been daunting walking up it if you were behind mule-drawn carts filled goods form over seas. The Marine gate opens onto the Via dell'Abbondanza, the main road which runs right through the centre of Pompeii from the Marine Gate to the Sarno Gate on the other side.
Porta Marina (in English, Sea gateway) is so called because from it people reached the sea which in 79 A.D. was very close to the town. The door has got two arches: one for the mules and the other, which is less steep, for the pedestrians. Both of them had been being covered with barrel vault
Porta Marina e Cinta Muraria is one of the seven gates that lets you through the walls into Pompeii. The name is derived from the road that leads towards to sea. As you walk through the gate, you can understand how the sheer thickness of the stone walls has ensured Pompeii's defense against outside invaders.
Porta Marina, the sea gate, was the entrance to Pompeii from the port. Since ancient times, the port has been filled with volcanic lava, so the entrance is several hundred meters from the sea. The same area is now the tourist entrance to the ruins...
Before the town was destroyed by the Vesuvius eruption in 79 AD the ocean was very close to the town. The volcanic eruption deposited 20 feet of ash on the town and covered most buildings, it also changed the ocean front causing the ocean to retreat.
The Marine Gate was the entry for goods and produce brought to the town by ship. The Gate had two archways, the narrower one was for pedestrians and the wider one for vehicles which was used for goods arriving by sea. The city gates were manned by police officers and had two barricades. This is the entry we used for our tour.
Most tourists enter the site of Pompeii through this gate.
Its name comes from the fact that before the city was buried in 79 A.D., this was quite near the sea. Due to the massive amount of volcanic ash and pumice deposited by the eruption of Vesuvius the sea is about a kilometer away today.
If you are visiting Pompeii, Porta Marina will likely be your first glimpse of the ancient city. It lies right inside the entrance closest to the train station. From its name, you might dedcue that it had something to do with the sea, but can't figure out why. Well, before Vesuvius erupted, this is where the coastline was located!! After Vesuvius did its destruction, the coastline now lies over a kilometer away. That is a massive amount of soil deposited!
This is the most important gate of Pompeii. The name, Marina, comes because this way leads to the sea.