If you are wondering what to see in Rome during your holiday, Baths of Caracalla is an astonishing place to visit. One of the best site in Ancient Rome history. Also known as Terme Antoniniane, the Baths are some of the best preserved ancient buildings of the Roman times. They are a must see when visiting Rome. Even in their current state the ruins are breathtaking and are a magnificent witness of Roman architecture. Baths of Caracalla are among the most monumental and imposing archeological complexes of the Rome Imperial age. Indeed, we suggest to take a guided tour to better experience the site.
The Baths were located by ancient Appian Way in Rome. They took the name after the emperor Caracalla, who reigned from 211-217 AD. His father Septimius Severus commissioned the baths and after his death the project was completed by his son Caracalla in 216 A.D. The family names of both the emperors was Antoninus, hence the original name of the baths, Thermae Antoninianae.
The ruins of these baths are huge and very well preserved with many mosaics undamaged.
It was the largest bath complex in the world. The main building was 215 by 115 meters and had of four levels, two above ground and two below. The ruins are impressive even today as the walls are 30 meters high.
Beside the bathhouse, there were shops, gymnasium, gardens, massage rooms, saunas, reading rooms, perfumeries, music pavilions.
In addition, one of the side-building housed a temple to Mithras.
The interior of the building was colorful. The marble walls were littered with paintings and mosaics and the pavements had also mosaics. Statues where everywhere.
The enormous complex was built using nearly 6.9 million bricks and 6,300 square meters of marble and granite. It is reported that over 600 marble workers, 6,000 tradesmen, and 13,000 prisoners of war labored in its construction.
At that time, Rome’s crowded tenements had few sanitary facilities. More than fifty public baths in Imperial Rome played an important role. Not only thermal baths did improve citizens’ health, the thermae were also places where Romans came to socialize and relax. The Baths of Caracalla were built to hold around 1,600 bathers at a time and could accommodate up to 8,000 people a day.
The baths were extremely popular and remained in use until the sixth century. Even the first few waves of invading barbarian loved them. The barbarians known as the Ostrogoths, instead, laid siege to Rome and severed the city’s water supply. Shortly thereafter the baths were abandoned in AD 537.
The complex was, as most of other ancient sites, looted over the centuries.
Located too far away from the still populated area of Rome, the baths were mostly disused but in the 6th and 7th centuries were apparently used for the burials of pilgrims.
The earthquake of 847 destroyed much of the building, along with many other Roman structures.
In summertime, Baths of Caracalla hosts ballet and opera shows. An incredible athmosphere to live immensed in Ancient Rome history.