Imperial Rome, past glory
The Terme di Caracalla, the most imposing and best preserved examples of thermae, public baths, from the Imperial period still extant. They were built during the reign of Emperor Caracalla between 212 and 216 CE. The building was heated by a hypocaust, a system of burning coal and wood underneath the ground to heat water provided by a dedicated aqueduct. The baths were free and open to the public and remained in use until the 6th century when the complex was taken by the Ostrogoths and the hydraulic installations destroyed.