The Upper Gymnasium Baths

The Great Baths located at the entrance to the ancient city of Ephesus, was in error named the Varius Baths, the excavation of this bath are not yet completed. It was constructed in the hillside of Mouth Pion (Panayir Dagi) to the east of the Agora and the four grand chambers of these baths, those on the northern side were built partially into the rock. It differs from the typical plan of Roman Baths as it has as asymmetrical plan, although it resembles the other baths of Ephesus in that it has a Frigidarium (Cold Section), an Apodyterium (Dressing Section), a Tepidarium (Warm Section), a Calidarium (Hot Section) and a Sudatorium (Sweating Section). The baths were heated through the “Hypocaust” system, where hot air was circulated beneath the paved floor. In the west chamber (Calidarium), there are huge windows with a bathing pool and seven niches facing west. In the south there is a public lavatory (Latrina) and many smaller adjoining rooms where trading was conducted. These baths were ruined many times due to seismic activity but they were repeatedly repaired following seismic damage. On the western and southern sides of the baths are chambers with floors decorated with mosaics and it is understood from an inscription on the mosaic floor that the construction of the phase of the structure was financed by a city chamberlain named Asclepius in the 5th century A.D. Some statues of Aphrodite, Dionysus, Hygeia and Pan were recovered during the excavation of this bath complex and are exhibited today in the İzmir Museum of Archeology.