The Aula Ottagona (“Octagonal Hall“) used to be part of the Diocletian Baths in Rome. Throughout history, the hall has been used for several functions. At present it is an exhibition space for statues found at the ancient Roman Baths.
Octagonal Hall Rome
Opening times and ticket price
The Octagonal Hall is only ope for special exhibitions. Opening times: From 09.00 till 19.45. Closed: Mondays. Phone: +39 06477681.
History and description
The Octagonal Hall was located on the south-eastern corner of what used to be the Diocletian Baths. It is not clear what used to be its purpose at the time. However, the 16th century find of a bath tub might mean that it used to be a small frigidarium, used for ritual cleansing.
Its original name was Sala della Minerva.
The top part used to be decorated with alternating slabs of marble and stucco, of which however nothing remains.
In the course of its history the hall was often renovated.
In 1878, the Via Cernaia was constructed and the Octagonal Hall was separated from the rest of the complex. It became a gymnastics school, then a cinema and finally, in 1928, the seat of the Planetarium.
The marble and bronze sculptures gracing the hall date back to a period between the 2nd and 4th centuries. Most of these are copies of Greek originals. Some merely take their inspiration from Greek examples. They depict Gods, heroes and athletes.
The central part of the hall used to be occupied by two famous bronze statues that were taken from the Baths of Constantins, Both the “Hellenistic Prince” and the “Pugilist at Rest” are now in the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme.
The other marble sculptures were found in the Baths of Caracalla and the Terme di Diocleziano. The statues in the alcoves were taken from the Baths of Trajan in the Colle Oppio Park and the Therms of Cirene in Lybia.
Adres en openbaar vervoer
Address: Via Giuseppe Romita, 8 – Rome. District: Rione Castro Pretorio. Public transport: Bus: 61, 62, 85, 150F, 175, 492, N1, N5, N12. Metro: Repubblica (line A).