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Byzantine Bath

The Byzantine Bath is a rare monument, perfectly preserved in Ano Poli area.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )


    1952 Listed as a protected monument.

    1978 Support works due to an earthquake.

    1988 Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    2015 Restoration completed.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1912)


  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)


    Some sources place its construction in the late 12th to early 13th century, while other sources place it a century later.

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)


  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)


  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)


  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)


  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)


  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)


What I can see

A Byzantine bath is “hidden” among newer buildings. It was recently restored to its original form, as far as possible, without eliminating elements from later times. It has two domes and despite the additions of 6 centuries, its basic tripartite layout had not changed significantly. Today, it is a museum site where cultural events take place. A rare example in Greece of a bath from the Byzantine era, it operated continuously until 1940. These operations over the centuries brought changes and additions which altered its original form. The entrance was initially on the south side, then locker rooms were added along with the cold room, and finally came the addition of the tepid and the hot rooms. The floor is based on hypocausts, which are columns located in a small basement, in which the air and floor are both heated and the hot air is transferred through wall air ducts.

What I can't see

It is one of the many baths of Thessaloniki. The baths were a status symbol of the bourgeoisie as opposed to the rural class, and were used as places of social coexistence and rest. They stopped operating during the “Dark Ages” (6th-7th centuries) due to high maintenance costs, after which they were operated as private baths. When this bath was built, it probably belonged to a monastery (Taxiarches Monastery). The water tank was north of the bathing rooms, was and stood on a heating stove, with the hot air from the stove passing through air ducts. The original windows of the dome were gradually built, which limited natural light but increased insulation. When these windows were finally built, natural light came in through light holes. In the Byzantine period, it was a single bath, ie only for men or only for women, but during the Ottoman period it became a double bath and the bathing rooms were separated. It was also called Kule Hamam or the Hamam of Kule Café and the bathtubs were removed because they were banned. According to the Koran, the purification of soul and body should only be done with a natural flow of water.

Info

  • Address: Romfei Sq. & Theotokopoulou

Bibliography

Karamitsios G., (2017), Θεσσαλονίκη, 100 μικρές ιστορίες, [Thessaloniki, 100 little stories] Ιanos

 

Kourkoutidou- Nikolaidou E., Tourta A., (1997), Περίπατοι στη Βυζαντινή Θεσσαλονίκη, [Walks in the Byzantine Thessaloniki], Athens: Kapon publications

 

Revythiadou F., Raptis K. Th., (2014), ΑποκατάστασηΣτερέωση του Βυζαντινού Λουτρού στη Θεσσαλονίκη, [Restoration- Consolidation of the Byzantine Bath in Thessaloniki], ΜCA, Ephorate of Antiquities of Thessaloniki City

 

Tsaktsira L, Papanthimou K., Mantziou G., Kalogirou N., (2014), Θεσσαλονίκη, η πόλη και τα μνημεία της, [Thessaloniki, the city and its monuments], Thessaloniki: Malliaris Pedia