Roman Thermae of Maximinus

Braga, Portugal

The Roman Thermae of Maximinus are the archaeological ruins of a monumental building and public baths, whose construction was integrated into the urban renewal of the civitas of Bracara Augusta (later Braga), the Roman provincial capital of Gallaecia. The large public/civic construction consisted of a building, housing the baths, and a theatre, although the archaeological excavations continue.

From excavations completed in the region, the thermae complex was constructed in the second half of the 1st century BCE and persisted in some form until the end of the 3rd century. Around the 2nd century, a theatre was constructed. At the end of the 3rd century, the complex was profoundly remodelled, resulting in the substantial reduction in the total area occupied by the thermae; the remodelling of the urban structure was part of the ongoing redesign of Bracara Augusta, into the provincial capital of Gallaecia by Diocletian. This meant that by the 4th century even the theatre was deactivated, and the stones used to construct the city walls. In fact, the remnants encountered confirm the existence of three periods of construction, starting with the first, which corresponds to the pre-thermae period of Julius Caesar and Claudius. The second cycle occurred during the reigns of Flavius and Anthony, represented by the presence of the public baths, which used the pre-existing structure. Finally, the third phase was initially marked by the remodelling of the building, with its courtyard dramatically reduced. By the 5th century, the building and thermal baths were abandoned.


The plan of the building, located on one of the higher hilltops in the municipality of Braga, has not still be completely uncovered.

The complex is of a reasonably large dimension, constructed in the second half of the 1st century, which functioned until the 5th century. Its initial layout included two hot areas and, likely, two areas for autonomous services. These spaces were considerably restricted during the Dicoletian remodelling between the 3rd and 4th centuries.

Following the entrance to the thermae, is the apodyterium (dressing spaces), with natatio (cold pools), before entering the palaestra (gymnasium) or frigidarium (cold baths) followed by tepidarium (warm baths) and caldarium (hot chambers), which were heated by the hypocaust (underground structures formed by arches or pillars, which allowed the circulation of hot air) from the praefurnium (furnace).

The site has not yet been total excavated, resulting in a number of archaeological and temporal questions.



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Founded: 1st century BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Portugal

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User Reviews

Giuseppe De Chellis (2 years ago)
Is part of history how the people relax and socialise on the Thermes,
Jonathan Cohen (2 years ago)
Am okay site to visit if you have not been to larger archeological areas, but otherwise pretty small and basic. Fortunately, the admission price is low and worth the price.
Stijn Buurman (3 years ago)
It's interesting to see this! It doesn't seem to use it full potential yet. Behind the therms were more ruins but it didn't say anything in the brochure what it was or on any signs. Just a tip: - let people know if you sell a combination ticket with the idolo fountain - it's not very nice if you need to climb over a chain to exit the museum... I get you dont want people to get in without paying but make sure I can get out in a normal way.
César Orille Museums & Gyms (3 years ago)
Interesting public Roman Baths of Alto da Cividade. It was discover in 1977. Classified as a National Monument, the ruins of the baths are situated in a protected archaeological site. In Roman times this public building was located in a central area of the city of Bracara Augusta, near the administrative forum. It was built in the early second century, with theatre attached. It is worth a visit.
Addiel Ortiz (3 years ago)
Very well kept pieces and nice staff. For history and architecture fans
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