Gijón: Roman Baths museum "Campo Valdés"

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Adresse :  Campo Valdés, Gijón, Asturias, 33201, Espagne
Téléphone :  +34 98 518 51 51
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Remains of Roman Baths, Gijón
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The on-site Roman bath museum "Campo Valdés" was opened in 1995 and is located near the coast, in the heart of the old city. Its main aims are to protect, preserve, investigate, disseminate and present didactically the remains of a Roman bath discovered in the archaeological excavations.

The visit to the museum is divided into two stages: the visitor first receives comprehensive information about the significance of the baths in the Roman world and about the purpose and history of the public baths in Gijón. Video material, models, texts and illustrative drawings are used to present the building. The visitor is then guided through the archaeological remains on a footbridge that reproduces the inner order of the bathing sequence and allows observing the original places of the bathing rooms (apoditerium, tepidarium, frigidarium, caldarium and sudatio). TV monitors installed in front of each bathing room showing the hypothetical interior of each chamber will help the visitor understand the remains better.

The baths of Campo Valdés were of public use. They underwent several constructions phases, something not uncommon in this type of Roman buildings. The first thermal building ran north-south and comprised a number of cold and warm rooms following an axial or linear scheme. They were laid out on a backtracking circulation plan. This building dates back to the end of the 1st c. A.D. and the first third of the 2nd c. A.D.

This first proyect was modified later (exact date is uncertain). As far as the architectural model is concerned the arrangements of the baths in Gijón resembles the most common Roman baths (the "Pompeiam-Campanian" type) which was introduced into the West provinces of the Roman Empire from the mid-1st c. A.D. onwards. This model was extremely practical and was immediately adopted by the military fortifications al the borders and taken over by other civil urban and rural establishments.

The baths of Campo Valdés lost their original function by the end of the 41st c. Or the beginning of the 5st c. A.D. However, the building was not abandoned but reuses during the 5st and the 6st c. A.D. During the Middle Ages all the area became a shrine and necropolis.

December 2005



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