Baths of Caracalla, Rome Overview

The Baths of Caracalla located in the capital city of Italy were considered to be the second largest public baths. They were built between AD 212 and 216 under the reign of Emperor Caracalla, and hence are known by his name. It can be visited along with your visit to Appian Way as it is located next to it. Over the centuries, the walls and other parts of what used to be a marvellous thermae have collapsed and all that remains now are some vaults and corridors.

The baths were regularly maintained by checking the drainage system and the heating mechanisms. There were three chambers having water at three different temperatures - cold, hot and lukewarm. There were other facilities in the complex for recreation purposes such as an open air swimming pool, library, a gaming room, a beautiful garden, several shops and an open air theatre for live concerts and performances. The walls were decorated with valued mosaics and frescoes, and the corridors were embellished with sculptures and statues.

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Baths of Caracalla

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History

The motive behind the construction of this monument by Emperor Caracalla was to gain public support for politics. It allowed Romans of all classes to indulge themselves in this exquisite and lavish building and that brought unity among them. Along with enjoying a relaxing bath, they could also stroll in the garden, explore the library and visit the temples. The design of this monument  was so different and attractive that it had served as an inspiration for construction of other monuments. It is a wonder how the bathing systems of that time had well working systems of heating and drainage. 


The baths eventually got closed in the year 537 as there was no water supply after the barbarians destroyed the source of water and took away the statues and other works of art. A massive earthquake in 847 further worsened the condition of the monument.

Tips

  1. Wear comfortable footwear since you would have to walk a lot.
  2. Carry your sunscreen, shades if you visit during the noon time.
  3. Carry a bottle of water and some snacks as it would be difficult to find something there.

How to Reach the Baths of Caracalla

Nearest Metro Station: Circo Massimo (line B)

Buses: 118, 160, 628.

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