Thermae: The Roman Public Baths

Public baths were used both by soldiers and civilians according to their size and position. The thermae were a central meeting place for people who wanted to care for their health and their social life. Thermal water was not available in all Roman baths; therefore water was warmed up artificially already 2,000 years ago and on a large scale.

The Roman baths were made up of many pools with different water temperature, dressing rooms, rooms for water heating and sometimes an exercise area, too.

  

The Culture of Bathing

After the Romans retreated, public baths were almost out of fashion in Middle Europe. They were re-discovered only 100 years ago!

 

In the Romans’ Footsteps in the Altmühltal Nature Park 

4)  Theilenhofen

The bath was located circa 820,21 ft (250 m) west of the castell and was made up of seven rooms. Today its well restored foundation walls are visitable.

 

5)  Weißenburg

The local bath is part of the largest uncovered thermae of Southern Germany and belonged to the Roman civil settlement close to the castell. The bath was covered with a roof in order to better protect it and today can be visited paying an entrance ticket.

6)  Böhming

A model of the local castell’s bath is exhibited in the Römer und Bajuwaren Museum (museum for Romans’ and Bavarians’ history) at the castle of Kipfenberg.

 

7)  Bad Gögging

Excavations have shown that these public baths were 196,85 ft (60 m) long by 98,43 ft (30 m) wide: here every refinement belonging to the Roman bathing culture was available. The nave of the church St.-Andreas-Kirche stands right on the central baths’ pool. The Museum für Kur- und Badewesen under the church explains the ancient Roman culture of bathing.

 

– Roman baths at Theilenhofen (© Fotoatelier Braun, Gunzenhausen)

– Roman thermae (Weißenburg)

– Mineral thermal water has been appreciated not only by the Romans: today everyone can enjoy the Limes-Therme in Bad Gögging while caring also for his health. The “Roman sauna” reminds of the Roman tradition of bathing: here more than 50 Roman finds are exhibited, creating a special atmosphere. Roman customs and traditions can be experienced also in the Altmühltherme at Treuchtlingen: here a thermal spring unknown to the Romans was discovered only in the “Modern Age”.