Baths of Diocletian

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Ulysses and the others second stage

Until 19 February 2023

Baths of Diocletian

The Baths of Diocletian in Rome are the largest baths in the ancient world.

Historical site of the Roman National Museum , about a century after its establishment in the Baths of Diocletian , the Museum has been reorganized into four distinct locations: Palazzo Massimo, Palazzo Altemps and the Crypta Balbi have in fact been added to the Baths.

The Baths of Diocletian were built in just eight years, between 298 and 306 AD, in the area between the Viminale and Quirinale hills and extended over an area of over 13 hectares. They were delimited by a large enclosure and a large exedra with steps, corresponding to today's Piazza della Repubblica. After almost a thousand years of neglect, in 1561 Pope Pius IV decided to build a basilica with an adjoining charterhouse dedicated to the Madonna degli Angeli inside the Baths. The project was entrusted to Michelangelo who, respectful of the ancient building, used the frigidarium and the tepidarium without altering their characteristics and conceived the large cloister.

Aula VIII houses some of the grandiose architectural fragments of the Baths. Through a prospect marked by pillars and columns, the hall looked out towards the natatio of which part of the monumental facade is now visible, designed on the model of theater scenes, covered with colored marble and mosaics that created extraordinary polychrome effects.

Aula X was one of the entrances to the central body of the Baths: here the so-called sepulcher of the Platorini is exhibited. It is important to remember that the artefacts found in Rome and in the suburbs have merged into the Museum of the Baths of Diocletian . For this reason, two chamber tombs are also exhibited inside a large tuff core.

Room XI was used to conserve the water of the thermal complex. A large black and white mosaic is currently on display. In the center, between elegant scrolls, Hercules is depicted victoriously grasping the horn just torn from the bleeding head of the river god Acheloo.

The Octagonal Hall is part of the central complex of the Baths of Diocletian and is the last of the four rooms that stood next to the caldarium. The classroom was first transformed into a cinema (Sala Minerva) and then into the Planetarium (1928), then the largest in Europe. It was only in 1991 that the building was destined to exhibit sculptures from thermal buildings.

Among the statues from the Baths of Diocletian we must mention the copy of Aphrodite Cnidia by Praxiteles. From the Baths of Caracalla come two copies from Polykleitos and a beautiful statue of Aphrodite, depicted while wringing her wet hair.

For all practical information on purchasing tickets for the Baths of Diocletian and the National Roman Museum, check availability in the Timetables and Tickets section.


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Via Enrico de Nicola, 78
00185 Rome


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