72729

Stabian Baths

Dating back to 2nd Century BC, Stabian Baths -built over a previous building- are the oldest baths in the city. They are named after the Via Stabiana running along the east side. On one side of the central porticoed gymnasium the rooms for the baths can be found: frigidarium, tepidarium, caldarium, split into areas for women and men and the furnaces. As in all bath complexes, there are also a large latrine and a pool.

The rooms had heated floors, supported by piles of bricks to create a cavity where furnace driven hot air could circulate. Hot air was also distributed via terracotta pipes inside the perimeter walls, to heat the room even more effectively. Exquisite decorations depicting mythological scenes are preserved in both the entranceway and the gymnasium. Those were made using moisture resistant stucco and calcite based grout.