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Arles: Thermes de Constantin, Provence, France

We are in Arles and this time we visit interesting baths of Constantine. It is a set of buildings dating from the fourth century - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once it was a great thermal complex. Visiting the object you can learn how worked such a "enterprise". These amazing remains of a Roman public baths are really well preserved considering the date of their creation. The tourists can apparently visit only a small northern part of the original complex, but anyways it presents many construction details. Interesting is how the Romans were able to design all the bath rooms in such a way to provide a water to them, and then heat it sufficiently to allow customers to choose whether they want to take a warmer or colder bath.


How to get there

We park the car on our favorite parking lot in Arles located near Rue de la Cavalerie (GPS: 43.678047, 4.633266).

Then we go through the gate de la Cavalerie, and go down the Rue Voltaire street. At the Place Voltaire square (A; GPS: 43.6798028, 4.6314214) we turn onto Rue du 4 Septembre street and after a few minutes we pass the church of Saint-Julien (B; GPS: 43.6792675, 4.6296294) on the right. We turn right onto Rue Dominique Maisto street and after about 50 meters we are able to see the baths of Constantine on the left side of the street (C; GPS: 43.679106, 4.627182).


What to see

We buy the tickets at the box office. Prices: regular ticket 3€, reduced ticket 2.20€. Then we visit the thermal complex admiring the technology used to deliver and warm up the water. Implementation of the baths for public use was possible thanks to invention of hypocaust which is an ancient solution similar to nowadays underfloor heating. The solution was based upon passing hot air under the "technical floor" placed on the columns of bricks. The air was then disposed through the vertical channels located in the walls. The basic element of the baths is a pool bath with hot water (caldarium). The other two pools are located on both sides of the central element. The east pool still has fragments of channels and marble floors. Caladrium is connected to the neighboring room with two gateways - it is a pool bath with warm water (tepidarium).


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