Autore: Mentnafunangann

The Temple Of Venus: one of the treasures to be discovered in the Campi Flegrei

The beautiful town of Baia, a hamlet of Bacoli, keeps the remains of an ancient past. Near the harbour, there is the fascinating Temple of Venus, a relic of a thermal structure dating back to the Roman Empire. Its current appearance only partially depicts what the original building must have looked like, but it still gives you the feeling of travelling back in time.

Baia

Baia was one of the most famous and appreciated places of Campi Flegrei in the ancient world. According to myth, its name derives from Bajos, Ulysses’ helmsman, who died and was buried here. Over time, Baia took on more and more of an elite urban character since sumptuous villas dotted it. In Roman times, together with other localities in the Phlegraean area, the town became one of the main locations where the Roman noble class chose to spend their moments of leisure and well-being. The luxurious summer estates built here by the emperors and buildings for body care made Baia take on the appearance of a small Rome.

The Temple of Venus

Autore: Mentnafunangann

The small port of Baia is home to a unique structure. The so-called Temple of Venus is a jewel of Roman construction. It is a thermal building presumably built at the time of Emperor Hadrian. It is supposed to be dedicated to the goddess Venus (from whom it takes its name), as was the city of Baia before the arrival of the Romans. Allegedly, the structure visible today is what remains of the most important room of a mammoth bath complex. Due to bradyseism, a large part of the building is now underground. Nevertheless, many scholars have worked hard to study, imagine and draw what the original structure of the great temple must have looked like. From the very few remains found, it is almost sure that the patron was Emperor Hadrian: the Temple of Venus has many similarities with some of the buildings in his villa in Tivoli (Rome). In addition, other buildings on the other side of the harbour road suggest a single, colossal complex that crossed a large portion of the city.

Body care

The baths of the Hadrian age, almost certainly commissioned by the Emperor of the same name, were intended to create a wellness facility dedicated to body care. As any spa complex in vogue at the time, the temple likely offered many treatments.

An architectural jewel

The architectural structure of the Temple is extraordinary: the building has an umbrella-shaped dome (only the attachments remain today) and is octagonal on the outside and circular on the inside. The large inner hall probably gave access to other small galleries found in adjoining areas in the Gulf of Baia, forming a larger thermal complex. Finally, some remains of decorations suggest that the Temple was originally covered with precious marble slabs in the inner rooms, while the dome was adorned with a mosaic.

An exclusive luxury

Together with the Baths of Baia overlooking the hill, the Temple of Venus represents the luxury patricians liked to spend their time in during Roman times. After the tiring work commitments of their political and noble life, they would not have given up their well-being for anything in the world. The conspicuous presence of thermal springs in the Phlegraean area undoubtedly facilitated and endorsed the possibility of building structures, such as the Temple of Venus, that allowed them to indulge in this luxury.

How to reach the Temple of Venus from Al Chiar di Luna

You can get to the Temple of Venus from our hotel by car or taxi (approximately 20 minutes) or public transport (about one hour).

Share

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn