The temple dedicated to the Olympian gods Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva stood prominently at the end of the forum of Pompeii. The sleeping giant of Vesuvius, 6 miles to the northwest, was towering as a conspicuous landmark above the coastal plain.
Vesuvius is currently 4,200 feet (or 1,281 meters) high. Some geologists have estimated that it was 6,000 feet high before 79 A.D. If so, that means the top third of the mountain rained down on the surrounding countryside. The prevailing wind at the time blew much of it in the direction of Pompeii.