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The area of the Complesso archeologico delle Terme di Baiae (Archaeological Complex of Baiae), located in the Phlegraean territory, includes three significant archaeological remains of the Roman era. The thermal buildings of which today we can only imagine the grandeur, but that once aroused suggestion to those who went to this ancient public complex. Among them stands the majestic Tempio di Venere (Temple of Venus), from the excelled building project compared to the nearby Temple of Mercury and Temple of Diana which are also part of the archaeological area of Baiae.
Although today it has lost a part of its grandeur, being buried for about three meters from the movements of the Phlegraean territory and its bradyseism, the dome of the majestic Tempio di Venere, has continued to amaze travelers. The architects of the time were fascinated by the uniqueness of the structure.
Like other temples nearby, it has a dome with the appearance of an umbrella for the shape of the segments that compose it. However, the materials used for its composition, very light, have allowed an incredible expansion, allowing an unmatched size. Externally octagonal, inside is actually circular consisting of a single central hall on which there are niches that allowed access to secondary rooms that were probably small pools of a unique, large and articulated thermal pool. All the rooms, however, were covered with marble slabs, while the decoration of the dome was composed of a mosaic, of which we have received very small traces.
A complex and incredible structure that can still amaze those who knows how to look at it.
The structure includes three building cores of different ages, placed on three different levels. The lower one is altered on the eastern side by the modern coastal road that has isolated the so-called Tempio di Venere. On one side there is a fountain, a small room enriched by a mosaic and an exedra that served as summer triclinium. On the other side appears the third core: the one consisting of Stanze di Venere (Rooms of Venus), thermal environments become cisterns and local service.
The visit isn’t complicated and it’s accessible to all.
The name of this ancient thermal building comes from a definition of the scholars of the eighteenth century who called “Stanze di Venere”. some rooms of the lower level of the complex. These rooms were in fact characterized by refined stucco decorations on the vaults, in honour of the Goddess.
The thermal buildings, that were part of the residential complex, were connected to this. Today the Tempio di Venere appears divided because of the construction of the coastal road.
Initially the building was part of a late-republican villa. When then it assumed a public function, it was integrated with other thermal rooms, of which we recognize the caldarium and the tepidarium.