Baths of Caracalla Facts

Baths of Caracalla Facts
The Baths of Caracalla was built as a public bath house in approximately 200 A.D. by the Emperor of Caracalla. They are located in Rome, Italy, and were the second largest public bath houses built in Rome between 212 and 217 A.D. although some estimates suggest that because the Baths of Caracalla are so large it would have taken longer to build - likely from 211 to 217 A.D. It is believed that the baths were first drawn by Septimius Severus, Caracalla's father, but were not built until Caracalla's rule. Emperor Caracalla built the baths in an effort to gain the political likeability of his public. The Baths of Caracalla were in use as baths until the Ostrogoths gained control in the 1500s during the Gothic War. Today the Baths of Caracalla are a tourist attraction.
Interesting Baths of Caracalla Facts:
In Italian the Baths of Caracalla are Terme di Caracalla.
Public baths of the time were called thermae.
If the Baths of Caracalla were completed in six years as opposed to seven, which has been suggested, it would have been necessary to install more than 2,000 tons of building material each day.
The baths of Caracalla were a complex, complete with areas for bathing (in heated water), and a large courtyard with exercise space with changing rooms around it.
In the Baths of Caracalla there were two exercise courtyards, and their pavement was designed with black and white mosaic patterns.
There were wooden balconies overlooking the courtyard for spectators to watch as others exercised below. The balconies are gone but there is still evidence in the brickwork where the balconies were fastened to the walls.
The cold baths in the Baths of Caracalla were called the natatorium or the frigidarium.
The warm baths in the Baths of Caracalla were called the tepidarium and the hot baths were called the caldarium.
The water in the baths was heated by slaves, who were stuck in the basement adding coal to the ovens to keep the water hot.
Caracalla's successors Heliogabalus and Severus Alexander completed some of the additional buildings including gardens, shops, massage rooms, music pavilions and even a museum.
In 1824 a mosaic was discovered in the northern hall depicting a variety of athletes. The mosaic can be seen today in the Vatican Museum.
When built, 1600 people could use the actual baths in the Baths of Caracalla at one time.
In the 1500s the Farnese family was granted the right to remove all valuable objects from the Baths of Caracalla. They removed two large bath tubs made of Egyptian grey granite. These tubs are now located on the Piazza Farnese near the Palazzo Farnese in Rome.
Many of the statues and mosaics original to the Baths of Caracalla are now located in the Vatican Museums including "Torso of the Belvedere". A statue of the Greek hero named Ajax.
Today the Baths of Caracalla are in ruins, but it is still possible to visit the site and see remnants of many of the original structures, despite centuries of looting, negligence and earthquakes.


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