Roman Baths

I mentioned in a previous post that the water consumption per capita during the Roman times (1st to 4th centuries) in Paris, then referred to as Lutetia, was higher than today, maybe then some 250 litres against hardly 200 litres today. One reason to the high water consumption was of course to a great part due to the baths. There were several of them. The one, which to a large part still can be seen, is referred to as the “northern one”, today as the “Cluny Baths” (“Thermes de Cluny”). The medieval Cluny building took over part of the space occupied by the Baths and the remains of the Baths are now integrated into the Cluny Medieval Museum, on which I wrote in a previous post.

Here is a comparison between Lutetia during the Roman times and of Paris today. We can see how important in size the Baths were with their palaestra, (several) caldariums, frigidarium… Interesting to know is that the Baths were open to "everybody" - however what about women? 

The best preserved room is the frigidarium - see also top picture. Consider that this room is some 1800 years old. I found (stole) on the net a picture of what it may have looked like during the Roman times, all in bright colours. There are still some decorative “details” left and also some other elements like the Roman pillars which once stood somewhere in front of the much later built Notre Dame.

Walking from one room to the other you can see how the space later has been occupied and has been  influenced by the medieval times.

The Museum uses parts of the rooms for exposing their treasures, like these tombstones, the upper smaller one coming from the Saint-Pierre de Montmartre Abbey (see previous post).

Because of what just happened to Notre Dame, the Museum has exceptionally and for a few weeks opened one of the rooms, normally under restoration, where a number of heads of Kings of Judah, and some Apostles, are exhibited. They all once decorated the front side of the Notre Dame, which suffered a lot during the French Revolution years. There is also a statue of “Adam” from 1260, also once decorating Notre Dame. On some of these you can find some (very small) paint fragments.

Part of the Baths are of course in ruins, but can be seen from the street. The tight fences make it difficult to take photos…

… but I climbed a bit.

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