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The Stabian Baths are
Pompeii's oldest baths. The name of the building derives from its
location at the crossing between Via
dell'Abbondanza and Via
Stabiana. Built in the second century B.C., they were
extended with the establishment of the Roman colony. During the
imperial age they were restored a first time and a second time after
the earthquake of 62 A.D.. Restoration works were still in progress
when the eruption occurred, so thefacility was not yet ready for use. The main entrance leads
straight to the gymnasium surrounded by a colonnade. The gymnasium has
an open bathing-pool (natatio)
and a large hall used as cleansing and dressing room (destrictarium).
The facility is divided into a men's section and women's
section, with the usual sequence of frigidarium,
tepidarium and calidarium.
Its ruined condition caused by the earthquake of 62 A.D., permits an
understanding of how heat circulated both in the interspace of the
walls (concameratio) created
by the use of spacers (tegulęmammatę and tubuli)
and under the floor lifted up by means of little pillars (suspensurę).