Baths of Caracalla, Rome
These baths are the most imposing monument of ancient Rome which one can see nowadays. Of course there is the Coliseum, but the baths of Caracalla correspond much more to my views on the Roman civilization than the cruel circus games practiced in the Coliseum.
The function of the baths was the care of the body and the spirit by the libraries. The social function of the thermal baths was also important. The Romans spent their afternoon there, after work. The poor and rich persons had access to the baths but the rich were accompanied by their slaves to help them in their ablutions.
The site, to the south of the centre of Rome, with its 11 hectares is huge and is planted with beautiful pine trees. It is the largest and best preserved ancient thermal complex.
The central building which goes back to 212 after J.C. is 214 m long, the height of the still existing walls exceeds 20 m and the height of the ancient cupola is evaluated at 40 m. The swimming pool had a 53 m length!
It is typical of the “Large Imperial Thermal baths” by the rectangular layout of the central building and the sequence of caldarium, tepidarium, frigidarium with swimming pool. Two gymnasia “palestres” frame the whole. I noted that the Italians still use y the term “palestre” to indicate a room for gymnastics or bodybuilding.
By their good conservation the baths of Caracalla made it possible to study the techniques of construction and the various aspects of the interior decoration.
To visit the Terme I suggest to bring with you a good illustrated guide or to get an audio guide at the entrance.
These baths, completed in the 3rd century, were named after the emperor Caracalla. During it's heyday it covered 27 acres and could handle 1,600 bathers at a time. This is an amazing sight to see, and is not to be missed.
Via delle Terme di Caracalla 52
Favorite thing: Baths of Caracalla was my favourite attraction in Rome. I was amazed by the size of the remains. It was amazing to see, the height of the walls was unbelievable especially thinking about how they would have built it all those years ago with no modern machinery!