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

Amanda Percival (6 months ago)
Been coming to Rome for years and have never visited!! It's about a 10 min walk from the Coliseum and well worth the price is if you have time. These baths ruins are some of the best I've seen! Learnt all about Emperor Caracalla from a podcast as I explored the complex. Finally there were not as many people so a lot quieter than other tourist attrations in Rome. Def add to your list!
Peter Flanagan (6 months ago)
Quiet spot, worth seeing on your way to Via Appia
Alice A. (7 months ago)
Amazing roman ruins, I highly recommend it, beautiful if you are into old roman times
Cynthia Vancil (7 months ago)
This place could hold up to 6000 people at one time! Though its been sacked by various noble/papal families over the centuries. A shame! Would have liked to have seen the statues and mosaics in the for which they were designed.
Mohammed Ikram (9 months ago)
Awe inspiring ruins of 3rd century public baths that were in continuous use upto sixth century AD. Nice walk amongst the ruins. Now a world heritage site. Must visit while in Rome. It has been a venue for sports and music functions.
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