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Trier: Baths of Barbara


Baths of Barbara. Model in the Landesmuseum, Trier (Germany). Photo Jona Lendering.
Baths of Barbara. Model in the Landesmuseum.
Augusta Treverorum: Roman city, modern Trier.
   
History Pictures

The Baths of Barbara, conveniently situated between the bridge and the forum, must have been immense. Today, you can see only some ruins in a field that is almost 100 meter deep and wide, which is about one quarter of the entire monument - it used to measure 175 x 225 meter.

Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
Baths of Barbara. Model in the Landesmuseum, Trier (Germany). Photo Jona Lendering.
Baths of Barbara. Model in the Landesmuseum.

The complex was built in the second century, and is remarkable because the map is similar to bathhouses from northern Africa; usually, the people north of the Alps followed Italian examples. The Baths of Barbara were still in use in the early fifth century, but did not survive the fourfold sack of the city between 410 and 435.

People started to live in the ruin, and a chapel was built inside one of the ancient buildings, dedicated to Saint Salvator. Other buildings were a monastery dedicated to Saint Barbara (hence the name), and a church dedicated to the Holy Virgin. Finally, the Baths of Barbara served as a castle, just like the nearby Imperial Baths. The small village, full of religious buildings, was known as Barbeln.
Edge of Empire. The book Arjen Bosman and I wrote about Rome's Lower Rhine Frontier.
Edge of Empire. The book Arjen Bosman and I wrote about Rome's Lower Rhine Frontier (order; review)

History Pictures
Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2006
Revision: 7 Dec. 2008
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