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Mt. Vesuvius  Observatory

It was built during the reign of Ferdinand II of Borbon between 1841 and 1845 on the side of an old building called "Eremo", where travellers used to stop before climbing the mountain. The king, who was a man of culture, was sensitive to the need for more advanced study and systematic observations of the volcano activity and vulcanology in general. The historical building of the Vesuvius Observatory is located at 600 m asl, and it has survived some notable eruptions (in 1850,1855, 1861, 1868, 1872, 1906, 1929, 1944) without being damaged. It was built on the southern border of the Somma caldera, between two deep valleys bordering the hill. These valleys have now been filled by the lava flows of the above-mentioned eruptions.  Since 1983, the National Group for Vulcanology has encouraged research in the geological structure of the volcano, and improved its monitoring. In the 80s there was a significant number of earthquakes, called bradysism, in the Phlegrean Fields and particularly in Pozzuoli that made the earth rise about 1,8 m and after which 30.000 people were evacuated to other nearby areas. Now everything seems to be quiet ot within the limits of natural movement of the earth mass. The only evident exterior activities are the steam fumaroles inside the crater of Vesuvius, in the  Phlegrean Fields and on the isle of Ischia.
In the historical building of the Osservatorio Vesuviano is a volcanological museum where old instruments are on display. The exhibition takes the visitor on a fascinating tour through the world of volcanoes. It starts off with a description of the various types of eruption and how dangerous  they are, and finishes with observation, in real time, of seismic and geochemical data recorded by the Vesuvius Observatory surveillance team.  And everything is brought to life with the aid of video clips, illustrations, collections of rocks and minerals, historical  instruments, books, paintings…
 It is also possible to look through the camera’s eye deep into the craters of Vesuvius, Etna, Vulcano and Stromboli. One of the Observatory guides will show visitors round. The entrance is free. For information and bookings http://www.ov.ingv.it/museo.html.
For a virtual tour click on http://www.ov.ingv.it/inglese/mostra/mostra.htm.

 

Osservatorio Vesuviano
Sede Storica - Museo
Via Osservatorio
80056 Ercolano (NA)
tel. 081.7777149 - 081.7777150
fax. 081.7390644
http://www.ov.ingv.it
info@ov.ingv.it

Opening times:

Monday to Friday 9am – 2pm
 schools and groups
(advanced booking necessary)

Saturday and Sunday 10am – 2pm
open to the public


Some photos regarding the historical building and the exhibition
(click to enlarge):


              

              

              

 

Some vintage photos regarding the Vesuvius Observatory (click to enlarge):


              

              

              

              

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