Herculaneum‎ > ‎Northwest Insula‎ > ‎

Northwest Baths

Description of the Baths

The Bath Complex is located at the northern limit of the Northwest Insula. Considering the size of the town it is quite remarkable how many bathing establishments there are in Herculaneum, although it should be remembered that they must have served not only the resident population but a host of visitors from the surrounding area.
..
..
..
..
..

..
Discovered in the late 1990s the large apsidal building (a) (pictured left) was initially thought to be a temple until further excavation revealed it to be a vast bath building, part of a thermal complex which remains mostly buried due to the limitations of the site.
..
The building, discovered with its gable roof intact, was lit by a series of large rectangular windows, three on each of the north, west and south sides. With the exception of one window in the centre of the apse the windows remain blocked by the pyroclastic deposits, making the interior rather dark in contrast to the luminous atmosphere that must have prevailed in antiquity.
..
..
On the side walls the large windows alternated with rectangular niches (pictured above and below). At the eastern end is a large nymphaeum, pictured below, framed by two small doors that led to the rooms at the rear.
..
..
The surface of the walls was covered in part with tegulae mammatae, large flat tiles with a raised boss at each corner. (The tiles were built against a wall, from which the bosses kept the tiles at a constant distance, forming a cavity for circulating hot air).
..
Occupying most of the room is a large heated pool with steps provided on the short sides and equipped with a 'samovar' heating system, as in the nearby Suburban Thermae.
..

..
The large building formed only part of a thermal complex, of which a section of a colonnaded portico has also been excavated (b) (pictured above). In this area were found the remains of a small boat and the charred skeleton of a horse. A flight of marble steps led down from these baths towards the sea through an area ornamented with pools, fountains and gardens.




Home...................<.Last Property .................Northwest Insula..................Next Property.>..................Glossary