Varna Roman Baths - History and Facts | History Hit

Varna Roman Baths

Varna, Varna, Bulgaria

Varna Roman Baths is one of the biggest surviving Roman baths complexes in Europe.

Antara Bate

24 Nov 2020
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Varna Roman Baths

Varna Roman Baths are a large semi-ruined set of public baths from Roman times believed to have been built in the 2nd century AD.

Varna Roman Baths history

Spanning over 7,500 square metres, Varna Roman Baths are Europe’s largest baths after Rome’s baths of Diocletian and Caracalla and those in Trier, Germany.

When the baths were built, Varna was known as Odessos and its people would congregate at the complex not just for bathing, but also for socialising.

The Varna Roman Baths are one of the most preserved architectural monuments of the Roman Age in Bulgaria (1st – 4th century AD). Along with other public buildings, the baths were an important part of the daily life of Odessos.

The main entrances of the baths of Odessos are in the eastern and the western end of the north facade. The changing-rooms were kind of clubs in which the visitors were spending part of their time before or after the taking of baths.

There were also other premises in the baths, having different function: a hall for pouring with cool water, for pouring with warm water, for pouring with hot water, toilets, a heating room and more. The heating system is particularly interesting. It was connected to the double floor and the special cavities, which were taking the hot air as far as to the roof structure of the bath.

Varna Roman Baths today

In use until at least the 3rd century AD, Varna Roman Baths now lie in a semi-ruined state and visitors can see their various rooms, from the cold water bathing and hot water bathing rooms to the sports hall. Today the ancient Roman Baths of Odessos are a major historical landmark of Varna, evidence of the wealth and importance of the city in ancient times.

To explore the Roman Baths there is an entrance fee of 5 lev, around £2.50. Guided tours are also available.

Getting to Varna Roman Baths

The baths are situated in the central part of the city, on the corner of the streets San Stefano and Khan Krum. The site can be reached by public buses 20, 39, 17А. The nearest bus stop is  “Baseyna”.

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