Baths of Trajan in Rome: Trajan Baths Visiting Tips & Map
These glorious thermal baths are a great attraction to visit when in Rome. The ancient Roman Baths of Trajan were built in 109 AD and get their name from the Emperor Trajan. In fact, they are dedicated to him. Like all Thermae back in the day this thermal spa was an important social meeting point for the locals.
Here, they would gather to relax, bathe, talk politics, or gossip. Let’s learn more about this interesting historical site here. Read on!
The Baths of Trajan History
In 104AD, Nero’s fabulous, massive, gold dripping residence the “Domus Aurea” was destroyed by fire. Apollodorus of Damascus was given the job of designing the baths in order to replace the destroyed site.
Over 5 years and a huge 100,000 m2 of works, the baths finally opened in 109AD. They were located on the south side of the Oppian hill, where the remains can be seen to this day.
Fun Fact: These baths were the first of their type to allow women the chance to bathe too! Go Trajan! The design itself was also ahead of its time, maximising light and air and providing pleasant communal spaces. Here, you could come in from a long day of trading and even grab a massage.
Baths of Trajan Rome Architect – Apollodorus of Damascus
Born around 50AD in present day Syria, Apollodorus had a pretty decent career. At some point he became Emperor Trajan’s most favoured architect.
He is credited largely for bringing Domes to Italian architecture. His plan for the thermae got the thumbs up from Trajan, and so the project was begun.
Information about the Baths of Trajan Architecture
A marble plan dating to the 3rd century AD gives some detail of the architecture. From there, and from the various sections still visible today, we can get a sense of the Baths of Trajan interior.
There are also a bunch of drawings from the Renaissance period that help us reconstruct how things looked.
From the point of entry you could see straight to the bathing area. The design took you through cold, warm and steam rooms progressively.
On site, the remains of fabulous frescoes and mosaics have been found, however these were likely to have existed on the site prior to the creation of the Trajan Baths.
Details about Interior, construction & dimensions
The Baths of Trajan Dimensions cover an area of about 340 metres by 330 metres. This really set the precedent for the largest and most extensive Roman baths of all time. That’s pretty big.
But, it is built only on the Esquiline wing of Nero’s destroyed mansion, so you can imagine how big Nero’s crib was before it burned down!
Important facts few people know
- The baths, like many others constructed during Ancient Rome, such as the Baths of Diocletian, were open to all – rich and poor alike.
- Also, they were run pretty much like your average gym or spa today – except the entry fee was pretty affordable. And the thermal spa would often open their doors free of charge on special days.
- Here, men and women alike could relax and enjoy free time, pretty revolutionary if you think about it for back in the day.
Baths of Trajan Today – how do they look?
Unfortunately there’s not that much left of the glorious construction today. The baths fell out of use in the fifth century. It seems to have been turned in part into a cemetery.
Also, the aqueducts that serviced the waterways were destroyed in one of the many sieges of Rome.
However, there are some parts of the Ancient Rome Baths of Trajan that do survive.
You can check them out on a visit when in Rome. Head to the Park of Colle Oppio. There’s only a bit left and a lot of the time they are under professional excavation. But, you can see them when in the park. Take about 30 minutes for the entire visit.
Do I need Tickets
The baths are located on the edge of the Parco del Collo Opio. The good news is you don’t need tickets to visit the ruins. You’ll notice them as you stroll through the park.
It’s a decent free thing to do when in Rome and you need to kill a bit of time. You can pass through the park on the way to visit the Colosseum.
Baths of Trajan Location
To get to the Parco del Collo Oppio, take the Metro to Colosseo. It’s on line B.
Also plenty of busses stop right outside the park. Line 51, 71 and 85 will get you there. You’ll see the park as soon as you get off the bus.
Here’s a list of frequently asked questions.
What were the Baths of Trajan used for?
Like all baths in ancient Rome, this was a place in which to relax. Here, locals could swim, bathe and take a sauna or massage. Back in the day, baths were used to talk politics, business and other matters of the day.
When were the Baths of Trajan built?
Construction began in 104AD and was completed in 109AD.
Who built the Baths of Trajan?
Emperor Trajan commissioned the baths, which were completed and designed by architect Apollodorus of Damascus.
Who designed the Baths of Trajan?
Apollodorus of Damascus completed the design and oversaw the construction.
Why were the Baths of Trajan built?
Built on the ruins of Nero’s mansion, they formed part of the reconstruction of the area after fire destroyed the site in 104AD.
Why were the Baths of Trajan important?
They were an important social and political meeting place for locals and became a special part of the societal structure.