Baths of Caracalla

Rome, Italy

The Baths of Caracalla were the second largest Roman public baths, or thermae, in Rome. It was built between AD 212 and 217, during the reigns of Septimius Severus and Caracalla. They would have had to install over 2,000t of material every day for six years in order to complete it in this time. 

The baths remained in use until the 6th century when the complex was taken by the Ostrogoths during the Gothic War, at which time the hydraulic installations were destroyed. The bath was free and open to the public. The earthquake of 847 destroyed much of the building, along with many other Roman structures.

The building was heated by a hypocaust, a system of burning coal and wood underneath the ground to heat water provided by a dedicated aqueduct. It was in use up to the 19th century. The Aqua Antoniniana aqueduct, a branch of the earlier Aqua Marcia, by Caracalla was specifically built to serve the baths. It was most likely reconstructed by Garbrecht and Manderscheid to its current place.

In the 19th and early 20th century, the design of the baths was used as the inspiration for several modern structures, including St George's Hall in Liverpool and the original Pennsylvania Station in New York City. At the 1960 Summer Olympics, the venue hosted the gymnastics events.

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Address

Via Antoniniana, Rome, Italy
See all sites in Rome

Details

Founded: 212-127 AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Italy

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Sheri Lucas (2 months ago)
This was such a cool thing that we stumbled upon. It is incredible how big it is and how much history there is - and it is sooo old!! We found this while googling “secrets of Rome” and other sites so we could se more than the tourist areas. It was 16 euros for a family of four and worth the money. It was not busy and a great way to get away from the crowds while seeing some incredible sites. There is an audio tour you can listen to via an App and it is worth it for more information as you walk around. It would have been amazing to see 1800 years ago!
Nicole Chu (2 months ago)
It was pretty empty in early October, providing some much needed relief from all the crowds at the more popular attractions in Rome. We bought tickets at the entry gate and waltzed right in. The awesome structures make you feel small and insignificant. This place must have been magnificent in its heyday.
David Flek (3 months ago)
Great place to visit in Rome. Regular adult - 8€ People under 25 - 2€ Definitely recommend to lend AR glasses for 7€. Without them I wouldn't enjoy the visit as much. It shows you some rooms how the looked in the past, truly great experience. Also there is integrated audio tour, which tells you some interesting information.
Noémi Jánvári (5 months ago)
Just wow ? Very quiet, so little tourist around even though it’s one of the treasury. Amazing to walk within those enormous old bath walls and imagine how it was back then in its time. ? I was very impressed ? and we spent a good 1,5hr there. Parts of the garden ? is closed down but still there is a nice area to walk around under the shade.
Alison McQuail (5 months ago)
Brilliant and so much quieter than the more famous attractions. The virtual reality tour works really well. Its our second time visiting this site and it never disappoints. New art on display too. Magic.
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