Terme di Diocleziano (Diocletian Bath)

"Terme di Diocleziano (Diocletian Bath)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Tuesday 17th May 2011

Terme di Diocleziano (Diocletian Bath)

Terme di Diocleziano/ The Baths of Diocletian were the biggest in Rome and had the same scheme as the Baths of Trajan and Baths of Caracalla; they could accommodate 3000 people at once. They were built in 298-306 by emperor Diocletian who widely used the work of condemned for political crimes and especially those who practiced the new Christian religion.

The Terme di Diocleziano are the largest spa's or thermal baths in Rome as they were of ancient Rome. They were inaugurated in 306, after the abdication of Massimiliano and Diocleziano. Situated on the Viminale hillside and are so majestic that the semi-circle of columns in Piazza della Repubblica reproposes the same esedra semi-cycle of the spa. The Baths occupied the territory of a rectangular 376m x 361m. The probable reason to chose this place for the great Baths, by destruction of a entire living block, was abundance of water which arrived here from three aqueducts.
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The Octagonal Hall occupies the southwest corner of the central building of the Diocletian Baths. Here you can see the Lyceum Apollo, a copy of the 2nd-century A.D. work inspired by the Prassitele. Also worthy of note is the Aphrodite of Cyrene, a copy dating back to the second half of the 2nd century A.D. and discovered in Cyrene, Libya.

The main buildings included a calidarium, tepidarium, and frigidarium. The calidarium, which survived into the late 17th century, occupied part of the present piazza. The tepidarium and the huge central hall of the baths are now occupied by the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli. The frigidarium was an open air bath behind this hall. Numerous large and small halls, nymphaea, and exedrae were located within the precincts.

The only entrance to the baths was on the northeast side, near the present Via Volturno. On the southwest side the closed exedra was flanked by two circular halls: one of these is now the church of San Bernardo alle Terme.

Many centuries later he grandiose ruins were used for utilitarian needs. The start was given in 1575 by Gregory XIII who used the Baths as a stockpile of grain; Paul V in 1609 enlarged it; Urban VIII built a new big granary destroyed in the 30's of this century; Clement XI in 1704 built on the other ruins an edifice named "Clementino"; and Clement XIII in 1764 placed in one of the halls of the Baths the great containers with the oil.
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Apart from use of the Baths as a food store they were hosting a Carthusian monastery when the church S.Maria degli Angeli was built in 1560. Starting from the 18th century the Baths also served for the assistance in connection with Ospizio di S.Michele; Pius VII wanted to place here all the mendicants of the city.

The Nepoleon's administration tried to conduct here an interesting experiment by placing here a cotton manufacture, but it failed due to the lack of financial resources that the nobility of Rome was forced to supply.

The use of Baths as a prison continued till 1870. After it the Queen Margherita founded here the Institute for Blind People. In 1889 here was installed the Museo Nazionale, but before it the baths were occupied by a huge beer-bar with dancing.
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Pass through the entrance, pay your five euros for a three-day pass to all the National Museums of Rome (which has to be one of the best tourist bargins in the world), and enter into the central garden. The sculptures here aren't in as good of a condition as the ones inside, but it is amazing to simply wonder through the walkways and garden paths in the company of the 2000 year old statues. There is a fountain in the front garden.

Original seat of the Museo Nazionale Romano (National Roman Museum) since its institution in 1889, the Baths and the Charterhouse are currently undergoing a restoration process that has thus far permitted the reopening of a part of the monumental complex and of two sections of a composite museum, the Section of Proto-history of the Latin Peoples and the Epigraphic section, this one pertaining to the Written Communication in the Roman World.

Terme di Diocleziano (Diocletian Bath)
Viale Enrico De Nicola, 46
00185, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Castro Pretorio (Porta Pia) (Roma centro)
Terme di Diocleziano (Diocletian Bath) is Shown By "Map F Zone" As "12"
Hours: Open every day from 9.00 to 19.45. Closed Mondays (except Easter Monday and during the "Week of Culture"), 25 December, 1 January. The Ticket office closes one hour before closing time. Guided tour to the museum of Diocletian's Baths with max 30 persons.
Bus: C2, H, 36, 38, 40, 64, 86, 90, 92, 105, 170, 175, 217, 310, 360, 714, 910.
Metro Lines: A and B, Termini stop.
Booking, Contact and More details: National Roman Museum of Diocletian Bath (Museo Nazionale Romano delle Terme di Diocleziano)

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