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The ancient lupanar brothel Roman city of Pompeii still stands, its walls still adorned with images of the erotic arts, despite the destruction of the city in a volcanic eruption in Although most of the erotic art was ushered out of the ancient city and into private collections or the extraordinary collection known as the Gabinetto Segreto in Naples, the frescos in the Lupanar Grande still adorn the walls above stone beds where the prostitutes of Pompeii plied their trade.
It is unclear whether the images were intended to act specifically as a sort of sexual menu, enumerating the pleasures available, or if they were merely thematically appropriate atmospheric decoration.
The frescos depict graphically sexual scenes, some with more artistry than others. Ancient graffiti covers the walls, where 10 small rooms with stone beds once served customers. Elsewhere in town, the pricing structure of the brothels are recorded at the Basilica, revealing the very reasonable and varied rates and services available. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of Atlas Obscura in your inbox. Follow us on Twitter to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders.
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