Thermal baths of Dioclétien
They were built between 298 and 308 after J. - C. Their surface was of 11 hectares. The central building measured 250m on 180m. The unit formed an immense complex of leisures, adding to the baths of the rooms of exercise, a theater, libraries, gardens, peristyles. There remain ruins today about it. Certain parts were transformed: the thermal baths shelter in particular the church Sainte Marie of the Angels.
The Roman buildingThe vaults of the thermal baths were designed from a point of view of concervation of heat. Also, in old tepidarium (entered today of the church co. Marie of the Angels), the oculus of the cupola was composed of a valve to control the temperature inside the building.
Thermal baths with the RebirthThe colossal vestiges were visited and studied by artists like Palladio starting from the Rebirth. A part was shaven, the central part who was best preserved was transformed into church by Michel Ange in XVe century Sainte Marie of the Angels. Outside, a brown wall, prepares well with the visual shock which one receives while arriving in the nave of the church: in a full space, splendid red columns support capitals and learnedly worked cornices, the semi-circular vaults interpenetrate and spare side openings, sources of light indirect. The tepidarium is used today as hall and Frigidarum (room basilicale) constitutes the center of the church.
The current layout of the place of the Republic, in half-circle, follows old the exèdre which delimited before thermal baths.
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