The Caracalla Baths


Description and technical data
Inaugurated in 217 by Antonino Caracalla, these were considered the most impressive of their age, with their organic complex of swimming baths, both hot and cold, covered and uncovered gymnasiums, rooms for gymnastics, wrestling, relaxation, etc.
This venue for the Games of the XVII Olympiad was achieved with temporary fixtures placed in the left-hand gymnasium facing the stage of the presentday opera theatre. The whole of the competition arena remained clearly visible to all the spectators as a result of beams (for a total of 40 metres in length) fitted with reflectors resting on four pylons with lateral supports. These supports detached the pylons from the old walls which could in no way be used in observance of a ruling given by the Superintendence of Monuments and Fine Arts.
The competition arena measuring 36 × 18 m. was carefully studied so as to render the moving of the athletes from one apparatus to another and the position of the judges as convenient as possible.