Diocletian Baths Rome (& Museum)

The Diocletian Baths used to be the biggest of the various Terme of ancient Rome. The complex was built between the years 298 and 306 AD. Nowadays part of the baths is being used as one the seats of the Museo Nazionale Romano.

Diocletian Baths Rome

History and description

Michelangelo's Cloister Rome (Diocletian Baths)
Part of Michelangelo’s Cloister.

Though the Baths do not exist anymore, one can get an idea of its immense lay-out by visiting the Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri church and by walking around the Piazza della Repubblica. The porticoed half of the Piazza echoes the former semi-circular exedra of the Terme.

There were two rooms on each side of the exedra, one of which has been transformed in the Church of San Bernardo alle Terme.

The Terme consisted of a rectangular calidarium with three semi-circular niches, followed by the tepidarium and the pool, all on a central axis with rooms arranged symmetrically on each side. The rooms between the gymnasium and the basilica are now part of the Museo delle Terme.

The famous Octagonal room, now part of the Roman National Museum, is located at the cross-roads with Via Parigi.

The present location of the church is where the central space of the Terme, the Frigidarium, as well as the basilica and part of the pool used to be.

The Terme stayed in use for more than 2 centuries, until the year 537, when the Goths sacked Rome, destroyed some of the aqueducts, and the water leading to the Terme was cut off.

Terme di Diocleziano Museum

Before one enters the actual museum, one walks through the so-called Garden of the Five Hundred, decorated with sarcophagi, statues and (fragments of) all inds of architectural elements. At its center is an impressive marble fountain.

Giardino dei 500 Rome
Giardino dei 500.

The museum itself is located around a peaceful courtyard, called the Cloister of Michelangelo, where a number of minor statues can be seen.

Diocletian Baths Rome (Michelangelo's Cloister)
Michelangelo’s cloister

The museum’s collection consists of a great many statues, sarcophagi and funerary trousseaus, found in areas in and around Rome.

Museo delle Terme Diocleziane Rome (painting found in Ostia)
Painting found in Ostia.

The artworks are divided according to the locations where they were found: Inside the Wall of Servius Tullius, along the Tiber, along the lordly roads, etc.

There are many terracottas and there is also a section on the earliest history of the Latin peoples. The epigraphical section dates back to the first half of the 20th century.


What is not generally known, is that the Terme di Diocleziano gave their name to the main railway station Roma Termini.

Address, opening hours and admission

Address: Viale Enrico De Nicola, 79 – Rome (tel. +39 06 39967700 (Coopculture, for reservations) or 06 684851 (the museum itself)). Opening hours museum: Tuesdays to Fridays from 14.00 till 19.45; Saturdays and Sundays from 10.30 to 19.45. Closed: Mondays, January 1, December 25. Admission: 8 Euros; EU citizens age 18-25: 2 Euros; age 0-17: Free. Combi-ticket, to be used within one week from the date of purchase, Palazzo Massimo, Terme di Diocleziano, Crypta Balbi, Palazzo Altemps: 12 Euros; EU citizens age 18-25: 10 Euros; age 0-17: free. There maybe a surcharge in case of special exhibitions. MNR (Museo Nazionale Romano) Card: 25 Euros, unlimited entry for 1 year from the purchase date.

Diocletian Baths, Rome

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