English version
Versione italiana
 
You are in: Home Page » musei » STABIAN BATHS - POMPEII

STABIAN BATHS - POMPEII

STABIAN BATHS - POMPEII

The town’s oldest bath complex opens onto Via dell’Abbondanza at the corner of Via Stabiana, not far from the Forum and probably dates from the 2nd century B.C. The establishment covers a total surface area of over 3,500 square metres and is divided into two adjacent section, respectively reserved for men and woman and includes a courtyard which was used as a gymnasium. Three sides of the courtyard have colonnades with stuccoed tuff-stone pillars, while the fourth side borders onto a large swimming-pool one and a half metres deep. Separated from the gymnasium by a low wall, the latter could be reached from two side-rooms where the bathers would probably get changed for the bathing rite. The bathing establishment proper occupies the longer side of the peristyle. A door in the right-hand corner of the colonnade leads to the men’s section. The first room on the left is a chamber for cold bath (frigidarium), which is round in shape, with four corner niches and a pool in the centre. The water used to feed the pool flowed from another niches in the north-facing wall. The fact that this room came before the one where the bathers undressed may suggest that it was actually used as a laconicum, a steam room in which the air was heated by means of bronze braziers. From the entrance hall the bather entered the changing room (apodyterium), which is plastered in white except for a red band running all round the lower half of the walls. The next room is the tepidarium, in which warm bath were taken. It was heated by hot air which circulated under the floor and trough cavities in the walls themselves. Follows the calidarium, where the tube on the right-hand side was used for hot baths. Walking along the gymnasium colonnade, we reach the entrance door to the women’s section. Here the rooms follows the same sequence as in the men’s section, but there’s no frigidarium.

 
museums archive