mercoledì 24 settembre 2014

Diocletian's Baths reopen to public after restoration

    Ancient natatio and small charterhouse cloister now on show

    (ANSA) - Rome, September 23 - Part of the ancient Roman Baths of Diocletian reopened to the public Tuesday following a 6.5-million-euro restoration project lasting six years.Visitors can now admire the natatio, or open-air swimming pool, at the heart of the baths and the small cloister of the late 16th-century Carthusian charterhouse of Santa Maria degli Angeli, which was built on its ruins.

    Here in the portico important marble sculptures are on show depicting ancient cults revived by Augustus, Rome's first emperor, as part of his religious policies and to enforce his own authority. In addition, there is a frescoed lunette never seen before.

    Commissioned in honour of the emperor Diocletian in 298 AD, the baths are the most imposing thermal complex ever built in Rome. The natatio and small cloister reopened to the public as part of a programme of events to mark the 2,000th anniversary of the death of Augustus in 14 AD. 

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