Roman Thermae

The Roman Thermae (baths) were among the most monumental buildings in the Antiquity. In addition to the traditional hygienic functions, they were also important venues for sports, cultural life and commerce.

The thermae of Philippopolis are located under the level of the present central part of Plovdiv, in the area between Balkan cinema and hotel Bulgaria. The thermae were researched in the 1930s. Nine rooms with partially preserved floor mosaics are studied, as well as an impluvium and sewerage system. The thermae were built in the 2nd century AD and reconstructed with a new plan in the 4th century AD.

The ruins of two bathing buildings, situated one over the other, were found during the archaeological excavations. The first building dates from 1st century AD and the second – from the beginning of 4th century AD, after the Goths invasions. The second building is different in plan and larger in size.

All the typical rooms defining the thermae as such can be found there. They are situated along the sides of the same axis: the frigidarium (cold pool), the tepidarium (warm bathroom) and the caldarium (room with a hot plunge bath) – the hottest room in the bathing complex.

The found mosaics were made out of glass-paste - smalt and covered not only the floors but also the walls. The mosaics were black-and-white with geometric patterns.

The area of the thermae is 700 square meters.

The findings give reasons to assume that the Thermae of Philippopolis had the same purpose as the ones in the territory of Rome. In addition to hygiene needs, they were also used as places for sports, entertainment, conversation.





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