Ancient Baths Of Caracalla Roman Tunnels To Reopen For Public

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UNDERGROUND TUNNELS
Baths of Caracalla | Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities
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After extensive renovation, some of Rome's ancient underground tunnels will be open to the public in December according to the Bible History Daily. Located under the famous Baths of Caracalla, these third century AD tunnels were how slaves carried firewood underground to keep the baths above warm for visitors.

"This is our glimpse at maniacal Roman perfection, at incredible hydraulic technology," archaeologist Marina Piranomonte told The Guardian. "Because it was on the outskirts of Rome, no one built on top of it and the tunnels were simply forgotten, probably sealed by undergrowth."

Tourists will soon be able to enter into a 2-mile stretch of tunnels that wind every which way beneath the bath house.

"It's the dimension and the organization that amazes –- there is no spa as big as this anywhere in the world today," Piranomonte told The Guardian.

Visitors can also walk through the tunnels to reach the site of an ancient Mithraeum, a temple in honor of the Persian god Mithra, which was also recently renovated.

To commemorate the opening, artist Michelangelo Pistoletto has placed his 2005 work Il Terzo Paradiso (the third heaven) in the gardens outside the bathhouse. According to the Art Newspaper, this will be on display until January 6th, 2013.

To learn more about the baths, watch the video below.

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