Pompeii - Table of Contents .................. Architecture Around the World

2013 photos
Forum Thermal Baths - Pompeii, Italy

TEXT Beneath Illustrations

2013 photos, except where noted
Men's Tepidarium (tepid bath room)

Note atlantes on walls

2004 photo
Scrolling acathus plants ... Atlantes/Telamons

2004 photo


Scrolling acanthus plant

Men's Frigidarium (cold bath room)

Oculus in semi-dome

Mosaic floor

Excerpts from Pompeii Ruins (online April 2013)

The "thermae" were the city's public baths. There were relatively few private baths and these were limited to the most well-to-do families, given that the latter were the only ones who could afford to build rooms suited to the purpose.

The thermal bath buildings were divided into two sections: one reserved for women and one reserved for men. Each of these contained a series of rooms with different functions:
1) apodyterium or changing room
2) frigidarium or cold bath room
3) tepidarium or tepid bath room
4) calidarium or hot bath room.

The thermal baths included latrines and, in the most developed type, a pool and gymnasium. They were often furnished with open spaces and gardens.

The system of heating the rooms - which was fairly ingenious -worked by running heated water through the cavities in the wall.

The Thermae were not only buildings used for a function of public utility, but also played a very important social role in that they provided an important place for people to meet.

Photos and their arrangement 2013 Chuck LaChiusa
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