Roman House Reconstructed

If you’ve ever been to Pompeii or Herculaneum or any of the other ancient Roman sites you would have come across ruins of individual houses. Some are big like the house of Faun in Pompeii, some are extremely small. Some are well preserved and some are not. But in most cases it is often difficult to imagine what that house would have looked like when it was actually being used every day.

I for one find it very hard to conjure up visual images in my head from a description in a book and so I have always struggled to imagine what a Roman house would have actually looked like in the day. The museum of Aquincum in Budapest came to my rescue with a small model Roman house furnished with articles and adorned with decorations based on actual finds in the nearby area. I found it very cool and instructive.

The only thing I had my doubts about was whether the rooms would have been so bright and airy. The boards in the house insisted that it would have been- I’m guessing that some of the bigger houses with peristyle gardens and some space around them would have resembled this one but the smaller tenements with walls or other buildings around them must have been dark.

Anyway here’s the tour of the house ( I haven’t edited the photos except to resize so some of them are overexposed etc)

From inside looking out, the entrance door and the vestibulum (the corridor leading to the door)
The Atrium of the house with the house shrine on the right. One side leads to the culina (kitchen) and the workroom. The other side – which you cannot see leads to the room of the master of the house and the cubiculum (bed room)
The Lararium or the house shrine of Lares- protective divinities
The Tablinum, where the master of the house would receive visitors. I love the colour scheme of this room and the way it is furnished. Note the structure hanging from the ceiling which would have had oil lamps.
Tablinum 2
Another view of the tablinum- you see the equivalent of the modern day book shelf- the scroll cupboard
The doorway to the bedroom from across the tablinum.
The actual bedroom or cubiculum. I read that they had left the walls blank of decorations as they were not sure. They didn’t find any ruins that could help guide them in painting the motifs in the room
The iconic Roman dining room with three couches (hence triclinium) on which guests would recline when dining.
The Kitchen with utensils



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Lav says:

    This is really cool.

  2. Nirmala says:

    Amazing reconstruction! Wonderful

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