Forum Baths, Pompeii

Roman Site in Pompeii

Forum Baths, Pompeii
CC BY-SA 2.0 / MatthiasKabel

Located behind the Temple of Jupiter, the Forum Baths, Therme del Foro, date back to the years immediately following the founding of the colony of veterans by General Sulla in 80 BCE. The baths had separate entrances for the women’s and men’s quarters. The men’s section includes an apodyterium (dressing room), which also served as a tepidarium (for medium temperature baths), frigidarium (for cold baths), and calidarium (for hot baths). Like many buildings in Pompeii, the baths were heavily damaged during the earthquake of 62 AD.

The current state of the Forum Baths mainly derives from the restoration works carried out after the earthquake. Significant attention and effort were devoted to the decoration of the rooms: the niches for storing clothes and bathroom objects were adorned with male figures in terracotta (telamones), and the vault of the apodyterium-tepidarium was decorated with elaborate stucco reliefs. In the same room, there is a large bronze brazier that was used for heating.

The women’s quarters, which are smaller, were undergoing renovation at the time of the eruption. More than 500 lamps found in the entrance of the men’s quarters were used for lighting during evening openings.

Together, the Forum and the Forum Baths illustrate the sophisticated social and cultural life of Pompeii, providing valuable insights into the daily lives of its inhabitants before the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

The Forum Baths, Pompeii appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Pompeii!

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Visiting Forum Baths, Pompeii

Duration: 20 minutes
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