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Ankara - Roman Bath

The Roman Bath

The Roman Bath, situated on Çankırı Street stretching to Yıldırım Beyazit Square from Ulus Square, approximately 400 meters far from Ulus, on the west of the road, about 2.5 meters above the street, was built by the Roman Emperor Caracalla (211-217), the son of Septimius Severus in the 3rd century to the honor of the God of Health, Asklepion.

It has been established that this platform, which is callled the Roman Bath today, was a tumulus and carried the remains of Roman times (partially Byzantine and Seljuk layers) on the top, and of Phrygian times at the bottom.

The dimensions of the bath are 80x130 meters, it is made of stones and bricks. The entrance on Çankırı Street leads to a wide area surrounded with the remains of a colonnaded pavillion and then to Palaestra, a place for physical education and wrestling. On the right of this part, along the colonnaded road, there are lots of angular and circular inscripted columns.

The Frigidarium (cool room) is just behind the sporting area, and Piscina (swimming pool) with stairs to sit on at the sides and an Apoditarium (place to take off the clothes) are on the left, and the cooling room with column pieces made of round bricks is on the right. The Tepidarium (warm room) has also column pieces of round bricks. The bath rooms had once been on these columns. The Calidarium (hot room) division is at the back of the bath and includes 12 stokeholes. The hot and warm rooms are wider divisions because of Ankara's very cold winter conditions. These rooms were supported with under-ground warming installations having brick columns around them to let the air to circulate easily, the upper rooms were warmed in this way.

It has been established from the coins obtained during excavations that the building, which had been destroyed after a great fire in the 7 th century, had been in use for some 500 years and had been restorated from time to time.

During the excavations of the Turkish History Institution the dressing and bathing parts of the bath, stokeholes and service paths were discovered.