Central Bath at Patara

This bath is located to the northwest of the Vespasian Bath and to the south of the Harbor Bath.  Unfortunately, it is buried under thick vegetation.  It is large, approximately 25 x 19.5 metres.  The construction date is still unknown.

It had three sections side-by-side.  The eastern chamber was probably the frigidarium and apoditerium, the middle rooms must have been used as a tepidarium and the western room with its large arch, the caldarium.  There is also a long eastern extension built in Byzantine times, its function is unknown.

It seems that there may also have been a palaestra nearby, a little west of the Vespasian Bath and there very well may have been a gymnasium attached to it, located on the large flat area between the Vespasian bath and the Central Bath.  Bath-gymnasiums are characteristic of Anatolian-Roman baths. Three inscriptions have been found right next-door at the main street excavations and all are about gymnastics.  It seems that Patara may actually have had three gymnasiums, as the inscriptions speak of a gymnasium "for the youth", "a separate one for children" and another "one for the adults".  Yet another inscription mentions a woman gymnasiarch.

Click to see this structure's location at Patara


Located in the center of the picture, overgrown with vegetation.

Note: Information on this page is from the book Patara: The History and Ruins of The Capital City of Lycian League by Dr. Fahri Işıki (head excavator of Patara), Orkun and Ozan Medya Hizmetleri A.Ş. 2000.  I believe this is a limited edition book and unfortunately I don't know where it can be purchased.