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

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Rainer Dert (21 months ago)
Absolutely impressive! Giant construction still shows the architectural skills, although it is partially collapsed. Some might find it perfect for a fantasy setting - maybe game of thrones etc. Take your time to discover it. Going through slowly and resting now and then will take about 90 minutes...
Jiřina Lysáková (22 months ago)
The spa - they are amazing. We were not in, but we've seen a lot. Beautiful to do a romantic walk in the evening or at night. Everything is beautifully lit. The whole area can be circumvented and you can make many magic pictures. I look forward to a trip back to Rome so that we can visit and explore the spa from inside. I certainly recommend visiting this monument.
David Mann (22 months ago)
The baths of Caracalla are absolutely stunning. It is worth walking just a little further out to see them. When we visited there was an art show on with sculptures that were meant to complement the ruins - some worked others really didn't. I bagni di Caracalla sono assolutamente stupendi. Vale la pena camminare un po 'più lontano per vederli. Quando abbiamo visitato c'era una mostra d'arte con sculture che dovevano completare le rovine - alcune hanno funzionato altre no.
Michela Borra (22 months ago)
i loved the virtual reality! the guide is great I highly recommend it. I would consider it a must if you are in Rome, especially because the reconstructions of what it should have looked like in roman times are wonderful
Andres Merschon (2 years ago)
Wonderful site. You really need to pay it a visit if you are in Rome. Some people disregard this site but of all sites we visited this is one of we really enjoyed visiting. We were there late in the morning so there were no many people. When you are there you really and truly get to appreciate the wealth and power of ancient Romans. Very recommended.
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