Pompeii was an ancient Roman town-city near modern Naples, in the Campaniaregion of Italy, in the territory of the comune of Pompei. Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area, was mostly destroyed and buried under 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) of volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The eruption destroyed the city, killing its inhabitants and burying it under tons of ash. Evidence for the destruction originally came from a surviving letter by Pliny the Younger, who saw the eruption from a distance and described the death of his uncle Pliny the Elder, an admiral of the Roman fleet, who tried to rescue citizens. The site was lost for about 1,500 years until its initial rediscovery in 1599 and broader rediscovery almost 150 years later by Spanish engineer Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre in 1748. It was not until a peasant digging a well in the eighteenth century accidentally discovered Herculaneum that people realized the legends and stories were true, and the first official excavation soon took place in 1748, seventeen centuries after the city’s burial. As a result of this extraordinary disaster that preserved so much under volcanic ash, Pompeii was the first ancient site in the world to be investigated by archaeological methods resembling modern ones.
The Place de la Concorde was designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel in 1755 as a moat-skirted octagon between the Champs-Élysées to the west and the Tuileries Garden to the east. Decorated with statues and fountains, the area was named Place Louis XV to honor the king at that time. The square showcased an equestrian statue of the king, which had been commissioned in 1748 by the city of Paris, sculpted mostly by Edmé Bouchardon, and completed by Jean-Baptiste Pigalle after the death of Bouchardon. During the French Revolution the statue of Louis XV of France was torn down and the area renamed Place de la Révolution or Place de la Guillotine. The new revolutionary government erected the guillotine in the square, and it was here that King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were executed. In 1795, under the Directory, the square was renamed Place de la Concorde as a gesture of reconciliation after the turmoil of the French Revolution. During the reinstitution of the monarchy the name changed but after the the July Revolution of 1830 the name was returned to Place de la Concorde and has remained the same since. Measuring 8.64 hectares (21.3 acres) in area, it is the largest square in Paris.
We returned to Versailles to see the afternoon fountain display. they have scheduled it between 3:30 and 5 PM this summer. That is not a lot of time to see much of the gardens, but I thought I would present the pictures I got. The Ballroom (Bosquet Salle de Bal or Bosquet des Rocailles) was created by Le Nôtre between 1680 and 1683. The grove was the last made before the installation of Louis XIV at Versailles. The Salle de Bal was inaugurated in 1685 with a ball hosted by the Grand Dauphin. The Ballroom is also called Seed Grove because the stones and shells came from the Madagascar coast over which water flows in the cascade. The musicians stood above the waterfall, across a tiered amphitheater with grass covered steps allowing spectators to sit.