About Lugo Roman Baths
The Lugo Roman Baths are located in the spa in Lugo, a city in north-western Spain in the autonomous community of Galicia. They are some of Lugo’s most architecturally representative remains of its Roman heritage.
History of Lugo Roman Baths
The Lugo Roman Baths were built in approximately 15BC, around the time when the city was founded under Augusto Paulo Fabio Maximo. The city would later become the capital of the Northeast Gallaecia.
As with all such bathing complexes, the Lugo Roman Baths attracted Romans by virtue of their believed healing powers, in particular the properties of the water which they drew from the thermal spring.
There are still clear and well-preserved ruins of various rooms. These include the Apodyterium, which were changing rooms defined by niches in the walls where people left their clothes. The Caldarium was the room with the hot bath, while The Tepidarium was a transit room for the cold bath which took place in the Frigidarium, which, incidentally, was later converted into a Christian chapel.
Archaeological excavations of the back swimming pool revealed fourteen altars in various states of disrepair which were dedicated to the Nymphs by Roman celebrities.
Lugo Roman Baths Today
Today, the Lugo Roman Baths are located within the Hotel Balneario de Lugo and can be visited for free upon contacting the hotel’s reception. Still clearly discernible are the changing rooms – the Apodyterium – and there are several impressive elements, including remaining arches and a bathing room.
Still running today, this water is naturally at a temperature of 44 degrees Celsius and contains elements such as sulphur and sodium.
The Old Town of Lugo is also home to a number of other fascinating Roman ruins. Most notably, it is the only city in the world to be surrounded by a completely intact Roman Wall, which is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The other UNESCO World Heritage site in the city is the Cathedral of Lugo, which was built in the 12th century and serves as the city’s diocese. The Plaza Mayor also serves as an important point in the centre of the city, with the Town Hall, built in 1738, punctuating the skyline.
The Provincial Museum of Lugo is filled with art exhibitions, Roman tiles, and ancient statues, while the annual Arde Lucus Festival takes place during the last week of June, and revives the Roman and Castroian past Lugo, celebrating the founding of the city. It is known to attract nearly half a million visitors and participants a year.
Getting to Lugo Roman Baths
From the centre of Lugo, the baths are reachable in around 40 minutes via the A-54 road.