Terme di Agrippa (Baths of Agrippa)/ Arco della Ciambella

"Terme di Agrippa (Baths of Agrippa)/ Arco della Ciambella" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Friday 6th May 2011

Terme di Agrippa (Baths of Agrippa)/ Arco della Ciambella

On the territory between Largo Argentina and Via di S.Chiara in 25-19 b.C. Agrippa erected the first public baths in Rome. They were supplied with the just built aqueduct of Acqua Vergine. The construction was 120m long and 80m wide, and a piece of its ruins is still visible in Via dell'Arco della Ciambella. Beside the baths was a little lake or swimming-pool named Stagno di Agrippa, from which the canal Euripo brought water into Tiber along the approximate tract of modern Corso Vittorio Emmanuele. In the zone of baths were found numerous important pieces of statues. In front of Pantheon, which was also built by Agrippa, was a Temple of Neptune, the apse of which could be seen in Via della Palombella on the back of modern Pantheon rebuilt by Hadrian.

On Via dell' Arco della Ciambella, a couple of streets south of the Pantheon, there's the remnants of the Baths of Agrippa (Le Terme di Agrippa) which predate the Pantheon. Via Condotti starts in the centre of Piazza di Spagna at the foot of the magnificent Trinità dei Monti steps. The street owes its name to the pipelines that once transported water to the Terme di Agrippa (The Baths of Agrippa). Today it is an extremely elegant street lined with the luxurious stores of the most exclusive designers, such as Bulgari, which inaugurated its atelier in this very spot in 1905. Then there are Hermés, Cartier, Ferragamo, and the historic men’s tailor, Battistoni.

Agrippa built a hot-air bath in 25 B.C. at the same time as the Pantheon (q.v.); and at his death in 12 he left to the Roman people, for their free use. The earliest of the great public baths of Rome, these baths were built by Marcus Agrippa (63 B.C.-12 B.C.), stateman and general, in 25 B.C. They were regularly restored and remained in use until late antiquity. The baths, which were adorned with important works of art such as the Apoxyomenos of Lysippus, were fed by the Aqua Virgo, the aqueduct built by Agrippa. They were located adjacent to the Pantheon, which Agrippa also commissioned. Remains of the vaulting of a dome in the central bath block can be seen today in the Via Arco della Ciambella.

Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa was the son-in-law of Emperor Augustus and one of his most trusted advisors. He superintended the construction of a series of buildings in Campus Martius (Field of Mars), the swampy land almost surrounded by the Tiber, which was used for military training purposes. He built the Pantheon, a Basilica dedicated to Neptune and the first large public baths of the City of Rome.

The Baths of Agrippa were damaged by fire in AD 80 (Cassius Dio, lxvi.24), but were restored and enlarged; they were thronged in the times of Martial, and enlarged under Hadrian and later emperors. In the seventh century they were being mined for their building materials, but much of the structure was still standing in the sixteenth century, when the ruins were drawn by Baldassare Peruzzi and Andrea Palladio, among others.

Terme di Agrippa (Baths of Agrippa)/ Arco della Ciambella
Via dell'Arco della Ciambella, 13 (Via dei Condotti)
00186, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Campo Marzio (P.Spagna-P.Popolo-Pincio) (Roma centro)
Terme di Agrippa (Baths of Agrippa)/ Arco della Ciambella is Shown By "Map E Zone" As "114"

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