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

T M (3 months ago)
We got the virtual reality glasses and entrance for 20 euro. They sell out quickly so booking in advance is essential. There were about 10 sites downloaded into the system, 8 of which were reconstructions of how the baths used to look like. The headset run out of battery half way through the visit.
matharusv (3 months ago)
I loved it! We spent around 1 hour visiting these amazing ruins. Audioguide is providing good information throughout your stroll during the baths. We booked tickets in advance but there was no queue at the entrance and overall only a few people were inside. Impressive to imagine how big the bath was once and how many people could spend their time there
David Phipps (4 months ago)
I first went in 1976 during the summer and now December 28, 2023. So much more has been preserved and uncovered. Lots of mosaics and the reconstruction of a house previously on the property. Not many people 11 euros to enter reduced rates only for the young. About a 45 minutes walk from the center. Worth the visit.
Pong Lenis (4 months ago)
One of the most beautiful ancient temple sites I’ve ever visited. It’s truly breathtaking, I could spend all day here, I’ve been twice now and it never gets old. The ruins are very well preserved and taken care of, it got lots to explore. It’s definitely worth going with a tour guide, I would definitely recommend checking out the Baths of Caracalla, you will certainly enjoy your time here.
Vanessa Forrest (5 months ago)
Amazing place to visit. While everyone was queuing to see the “rebuilt” colosseum, we found this place, full of history, cool (we were there in Summer but it was so cool due to the grassy areas and trees). The mosaics were incredible. Definitely add it to your places to visit!
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