The Byzantine Bath in Thessaloniki is one of the few and best preserved of the Byzantine baths that have survived from the Byzantine period in Greece.
The baths date to the late 12th/early 13th century, and functioned continuously until 1940, when they shut down probably due to World War II and the German occupation of Greece. The Byzantine sources do not mention it, hence it is likely that it originally belonged to a monastery complex.
The bath's long use led to numerous alterations of the original structure over time. The original architecture follows the typical conventions of Roman baths. The original entrance in the south leads to the rectangular frigidarium rooms, which were used as dressing rooms. Then came two vaulted tepidarium rooms and finally two caldarium rooms. The latter were square in shape and featured hypocausts below the floor. One was covered by a dome supported by an octagonal base with eight windows, the other had a domed ceiling. To the north of the baths was the cistern that provided it with water, with a hearth beneath to warm it. In Byzantine times the building was alternately used by men and women, but in the Ottoman period the bath was divided into exclusively male and female sections, by blocking off each pair of rooms from each other.
The bath was one of several in the city, but is the only surviving in Thessaloniki and the largest and most complete of the handful of Byzantine baths surviving elsewhere in Greece.
In 1988, it was included among the Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Following four years of restoration work, the bath was re-opened to the public as a museum and cultural space in June 2015.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.