The Influence of Ancient Roman Baths in Today’s Spa

Going to the spa after a long, hectic day is a great way to unwind and relax in a soothing hot tub or spa. When it comes to a relaxing soak in a hot tub, we can look back to the Roman’s when bathing was a common daily public social event. Bathing in Rome was a communal activity practiced by even those among the extremely wealthy. The upper class could afford bathing facilities in their own homes, but preferred socializing in public facilities. The larger facilities could hold up to 3,000 bathers and required a small fee.

Like modern spa’s of today, Roman baths were a place to meet, socialize, seal business deals, and courting took place. To grasp the popularity of public bathing in Rome experts have documented 952 baths of various sizes dating back to around 354 AD. Roman baths varied in size and amenities. Bath houses usually enclosed a courtyard with an open aired garden used for exercising. Some bath houses had swimming pools, gymnasiums, libraries, and reading rooms, booths selling food and perfume, and a stage for musical and theatrical productions.

The Greek’s began a bathing routine that formed the foundation for today’s modern spa. Public baths were located within gymnasiums complexes and were used for relaxation and socializing. Sacred pools located near natural springs were considered blessed by the gods to cure disease. The Spartans developed vapor baths, and the Serangeum’s built bathing chambers fed by hot springs. The Roman’s imitated many of the Greek bathing practices building larger and more complex bathing facilities.

Today, spas resemble some of the same designs as a Roman bath house and have gained in popularity. Gymnasiums, exercise areas, steam rooms, saunas, hot tubs and swimming pools to name a few are found in most spas. People frequent the spa to not only exercise, relax in a hot tub or have a massage, but also to meet friends, socialize and even seal business deals. A popular way to end a busy day is to once again head for the spa and relax in a hot tub to socialize in today’s public bath.

Source by Chris Eide