Barbarathermen in Trier, Germany

The Roman Barbarathermen can be visited in Trier, Germany. At the end of the 2nd century AD. the Barbarathermen were built. Unfortunately, not much is left of the Barbarathermen because over the centuries people used it as a quarry to build their houses, among other things.

Significance of the thermae (bathhouses) in earlier times

The word thermal baths is derived from the Greek word ‘thermos’ which means ‘warm’. Thermal baths were of great importance to people in Roman times. In our time we could best compare the thermal baths with a sauna. People came there to bathe in alternating cold and warm water. In addition to body care, the thermal baths also had a major social function. It also served as a meeting place, there was even a library. There was also the opportunity to exercise, study and shop.

The Thermal Baths from the inside

On the sides of the baths you could enter the dressing room (apodyte room) via a colonnade, where you could undress. Clothing was not necessary, people bathed naked, but they often wore some kind of slippers to prevent slipping because the ground was slippery due to the oil that was used. From the changing room people went to the palaestra, the sports field, to warm up through exercises, athletics or a game. There were several rooms in which one could bathe or immerse in cold, warm or lukewarm water. There was also the option for a massage and there was a sweat room, which can be compared to a sauna.

About the Barbarathermen

The Barbarathermen were built at the end of the 2nd century AD. built by order of Emperor Trajan. These thermal baths were 172 meters wide and 240 meters long. This made the Barbara Baths the third largest bath complex in the Roman Empire. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the baths were no longer maintained, which caused them to become increasingly dilapidated. In the centuries that followed, people used the Barbarathermen as a stone quarry, building their own houses and even entire churches with the stones. As a result, today only the foundations and the underground passages and the heating system can be viewed as remains.

How do I get to the Barbarathermen?

The Barbarathermen are within a reasonable walking distance from the center of Trier. If you walk from the center (Simeonstrasse) towards the Hauptmarkt and then turn right towards the Moselle. The Barbarathermen are located on Südallee Street.

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