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Baths Of Diocletian, The Largest Of All Roman Baths

Imagine having the chance to visit the most luxurious spa you could find. Wouldn't that be great fun? No matter which one you chose, chances are it wouldn't come close in comparison to the majestic Baths of Diocletian.

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These were the largest Roman bath houses that existed, being able to hold up to 3,000 bathers at one time! Covering a full 13 acres, they included full amenities for their paying visitors, whether they were noble or peasant, lady or man.

From the beautiful changing rooms and sparring rooms to the libraries, ancient conference rooms, theaters and even concert halls, every single inch of the Baths of Diocletian screamed luxury.

The genius behind the construction of these baths of may owe his success partly to a rival. Diocletian, having never visited but hearing of the splendor of the Baths of Caracalla, vowed to make his own baths.

These would rival Caracalla for beauty, amenities and hold twice as many bathers at one time. The man Diocletian rose from a poor family with little status through his military time. After a battle with the man in line for emperor, Diocletian secured his own future.

Soon after, he named Maximian his Augustus, or senior co-emperor. The baths were a joint effort of these two and easily became the most splendid baths in all of Rome. Not only did the Baths of Diocletian contain all of these amazing attractions for guests, but the actual baths were very luxurious and beautiful. Visitors would typically begin in the steam rooms, which were farther away from the furnaces.

Because of this, they contained no pools, but served as a sort of ancient sauna. Languidly enjoying the relaxation that the hot steam room brought, visitors would scrape their skin with small curved tools called strigils. This was to remove dirt and oil from the skin in preparation for the baths.

From these rooms, bathers would choose to take a refreshing dip in the cold pools or continue on to the hot pools.

diocletian statue head bustAfter having enjoyed their final relaxing sit in the hot pools, nobles or well to do ladies and men would have essential oils rubbed and massaged into their skin before leaving the baths.

Although now, the Baths are crumbling and ruined, the sheer beauty or ancient controversy has inspired the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli which was build partially from fragments of the Baths of Diocletian by none other than Michelangelo.

Parts of the baths also form the Muzio Nationale Romano. The Baths of Diocletian may not exist in their former stately magnificence, but the structure continues to draw tourists today.

Despite crumbling walls, the Baths have a timeless beauty and stately aura that speaks of the greatness it was – once upon a time.

 

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