A Public Bath
Since there are so many threads on castles, churches and temples, I thought I might go for something new this time. So I annoyed some professors, watched a lot of lecture podcasts and read some books about Roman architecture to come up with a fresh idea, and I figured out that public baths or thermae were the place to be in ancient times. Then why not make a bath?
This is what I have so far, it's called The Thermae of Elysia and is situated in the North-Western part of the city of Rhadamantys. I considered doing this in Illustrator, but since my abilities with the prog are very poor, I chose to go for good old PS. I hope this doesn't show too much.
By the way, my sources were the Baths of Diocletian, Nero and Caracalla, although I also took some minor elements from Arabic/Turkish baths. Don't be confused by the amount of rooms, I'll prepare another version with labels and perhaps colours showing the different parts of the bath.
And please, feel free to comment :)
I like it! Been doing some Roman-ish stuff for a client so it's neat to see this.
I truly dig it...I get tired of castles and inns myself. Plus, I find that the most interesting conversations happen when people are semi-clothed. I mean, so I've heard. Anyway, looking forward to the labels.
Very Nice. I think every city needs a few bath houses...now THAT gives me an idea... :)
Thank you for the kind words. It would be interesting to see what baths you come up with! Could be a nice idea for a light challenge, maybe... but on the other hand it takes quite a lot of reading to get all the rooms in the right position and know which rooms are necessary and so on....
Anyway, in Order to make things a bit clearer, here's a version with labels.
I used colours to denote the different parts of the actual bath, namely the women's (red) and men's (blue) bath on the wings and the main bath (violet), which opens for females in the morning and men in the afternoon. The letters show you the purpose of each room, big letters indicating the most important parts:
F = Frigidarium, the cold bath
T = Tepidarium, the warm bath
C = Caldarium, the hot bath
S = Sudatorium, the steam bath
P = Palaestra, the garden
D = Destrictarium, the spa
N = Natatio, the pool
A = Apodyterium, the dressing room
E = the entrance ;)
Small letters point to staff rooms, Roman numbers to other public non-bath rooms such as meeting halls or latrines.
Excellent maps, thank you for sharing off to plop it down in the city now.
Looks great! Nice to see public facilities getting a little love. So how often to they change the bathwater? =P
AFAIK at least the later Roman bath facilities were supplied directly from the aqueducts, which meant that there would have been a constant flow of water into (and logically, out of) the pools - for despite all their engineering skills, the Romans' plumbing technology lacked valves; it was infact impossible to stop the water running.
Actually, though water supply was an always on system, the bathing pools didn't have a constant current flowing through them. They were filled and emptied periodically. In the busier, more popular ones open all hours, "periodically" grew into "every week or two" so they became a breeding ground for bacteria. There are records for some people going there with say, a small cut on their leg and such and then dying from infection a few weeks later.
As I learned from the book about Roman baths that I read, aquaeduct water was split into three different "channels" when arriving at a city, one of them being public baths and wells (opera publica). It seems that baths had cisterns and a pipe system that reached all the warm&cold baths, the natatio and the loo. Running water was a desirable thing in later Roman times, but not always the case. Unfortunately the book doesn't tell me how often they changed the water, but I guess it is also a question of prestige: if you're the building owner and people die from your polluted water, it will have a negative effect on your reputation, won't it?