Tag Archives: Roman Baths

Roman Baths at Berkeley Springs


Roman Baths
* Berkeley Springs, West Virginia *

Berkeley Springs West Virginia is noted for its special healing waters which the town is based around. In 1784 A Gentleman’s Bath House was built atop these springs which are now the Roman Bath House. It is one of the oldest structures in the state park. The original house had 5 bathing chambers that were 5′ x 18′ and accompanying dressing rooms, but this has been dwarfed through time. Not much is known of its history outside of a 1787 diary of James Rumsey. Others claim the house was built in 1815 or 1816. The baths currently are just heated “baths” or “pools” in a purported “Roman bath” style. The baths are open to the public daily, and for a nominal fee, can be used for bathing from 10 am until 5 pm fed by naturally warm mineral waters coming out of the springs behind the building, with an heating adjustment up to 102 degrees where there are 9 5×9′ and 4′ deep tiled swimming baths in private rooms. These are rented by the half hour for a individual, group, or couple. It was a nice road trip visit for a nice warm bath, but not like typical hot springs or competing bath houses. The waters did feel magical and special. Rating: 3 stars out of 5.


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The Roman Baths at Xanten (Germany)

The Town Baths

The Town Baths of Xanten, Germany (Colonia Upia Traiana)
LVR-Archaeological Park Xanten / LVR-RömerMuseum
* Trajanstraße 4, 46509 Xanten, Germany * Phone: +49 (0) 28 01 / 712 – 0 * apx@lvr.de * http://www.apx.de/english/roemermuseum/largebaths/

In the heart of the Roman Museum at Xanten’s notorious Archaeological Park lies the ancient Town Baths of Colonia Ulpia Traiana. The monumental size and stature of the bath houses resembled a palace in many ways. These baths were constructed in AD 125 during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian. They manifest the Roman bathing culture in the province of Lower Germany. The well preserved remains of the foundation walls, pools, heating ducts and fireplaces are housed by a modern architecture masterpiece that serves as a protective building whose outer shape reflects the fascinating dimensions of the original remains from the rain and sun while keeping the impressive dimensions of the Roman architecture. The layout of the floor permits a fairly accurate reconstruction of the bath’s architecture – seen from outside, the different roof designs of the building give an impression of the bath’s complex construction. Within, the modern steel structures visualize the imposing dimensions of the rooms. Red steel girders mark the former position of columns, walls and arches. Visitors who first took a look at the reconstructed Hostel Baths can even better imagine the grand effect of the larger Town Baths. The Town Baths were far more than a place for relaxation and personal hygiene. This is where the Romans met with neighbours and friends, exchanged news, cut deals and sometimes also made political decisions. The baths were the city’s meeting point and social centre. The bathing wing was the heart of a big complex close to the city centre. Arcades with rows of stores, latrines, a water tower and a huge entrance hall were grouped around a wide courtyard. The complex provided everything the Romans needed to relax body and soul. The new RömerMuseum sits on the foundation walls of the former entrance hall. In an area of 11.500 square meters there was the main building, which included a multi-purpose hall, cold, lukewarm, and warm baths, as well as sweating rooms, an open-air area for sporting activities, and auxiliary buildings with toilets. The baths were discovered in 1879 and almost completely excavated by 1993. In order to protect the ancient fabric, in 1997/1998 the steel and glass construction were erected. The baths were located in big, magnificently decorated rooms with floors/walls cald with marble and the pillars and external facade elaborately designed. [abstracted from the apx website, brochure, and signs ]
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RomerMuseum (Xanten, Germany)

Romer Museum (Roman Museum)

LVR-Archaeological Park Xanten / LVR-RömerMuseum
* Trajanstraße 4, 46509 Xanten, Germany * Phone: +49 (0) 28 01 / 712 – 0 * apx@lvr.de * http://www.apx.de/
* Adults: EUR 5.00 * Children (over the age of six): EUR 2.50 * Disabled people: EUR 4.00 * Students, apprentices: EUR 4.00

The Museum is on site within the LVR-Archaeological Park Xanten which resides on the site of the ancient Roman city of Colonia Ulpia Traiana. Xanten is Germany’s biggest archaeological open-air museum and is a unique combination of an archaeological protective building and modern museum architecture which is inspired by the large entrance hall of the Roman baths with the ecological standards of the Rhineland Regional Council into consideration. Keeping with the feats of the Roman masters who were known for their monumental architecture, the founders of the museum kept with the magnitude to provide a direct impression of their spectacular impact. Reflecting the dimensions of the Roman Basilica thermarum, the entrance hall of Roman baths, both inside and outside. The entrance hall was the biggest room of the baths and at the same time one of the largest buildings of the entire Colonia. It stood 25 metres tall on a surface area of some 70 x 22 metres. Vertical glass elements permit interesting insights and lovely views inside and outside of the museum. The Museum is constructed of 14 steel frames weighing 35 tons each that rest on the Roman foundation walls to support the entire museum building. The facade consists of vertical panels and windows that let in lots of pleasant daylight and offer scenic views of the Lower Rhine area. The museum’s facade and its red gabled tin roof seamlessly merge with the architecture of the Protective Building. Just like its ancient predecessor, the building has no continuous floors but reveals the imposing height of the antique interior. The exhibition starts on the ground floor from where a system of ramps and platforms takes visitors to the upper levels. In the basement, a 70 metres long and five metres high stretch of the Roman foundation wall has been preserved. The complex contains 36 geothermal probes and two heat pumps that ensure environmentally friendly air conditioning and heating all year round. The Museum presents the 400 year history of the area in vivid and eloquent detail, with a chronological structure in presentation of the artifacts and historie. One of the most fabulously crafted Archaeological museums in the world. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

The Boy of Luttingen (Bronze)
served to carry trays and was probably installed in one of the legate palaces of Vetera I.


Lady of the Rhine, Part 2: Chapter 4B – Xanten Archaeological Museum; the Roman Baths, Ancient Keys

, Segment B

Lord Sven and Princess Brea ready to fight

Sunday, 29 March 2009
Xanten, Germany

Lord Sven met up with the adventurers Lady Vanessa of the Rhine, Princess Brea, Sir Ingo the Great, Sir Thomas Leaf the Cartographer/Archaeologist, and Sir Christian in the courtyard of the Roman town bath-house. The knights mockingly prepared for battle, should one arise. It was a quest for knowledge. Searching the treasures for the key. It was here in Xanten, that the Roman City Colonia Ulpia Traiana stood in 12 B.C.E. Somewhere amongst the city treasures or the Roman baths were hidden various keys. Questioning if the sacred key exists here or not would unfold this particular day. Paying the gatekeeper to the protected location of the baths, the party entered into the Museum and explored the various levels looking through the treasure troves within. A fascinating place to visit, one any visitor in the region should not miss. Keys were found, but alas, were not the ones sought after.

Many keys, but none the one sought after …

Even exploring the various rooms of the excavated remains of the bath house came up with empty hands, ‘nigh a chilly day, but much warmer than Colorado Sir Thomas Leaf was happy about. Very intriguing and amazing Roman ruins and artifacts, giving him more vast knowledge the the land and area he is exploring, but yet not the key he seeks. Memories of his excavations at Cetamura del Chianti swarmed his head bring warm fuzzies of happiness and fondness. The Roman Civilization always struck a chord of fascination with him.

The Roman Baths

Continue reading Lady of the Rhine, Part 2: Chapter 4B – Xanten Archaeological Museum; the Roman Baths, Ancient Keys