2000 YEARS OF HOT WATER CONVENIENCE IN SERBIA

Elena Vasić Petrović

Hristina Krstić

Ana Momčilović Petronijević

Abstract

The territory of the Republic of Serbia has always been very rich in thermal water springs, which led to constant use of this convenience for more than 2000 years now. Also, its geographical position made it very attractive for many cultures and civilizations as perfect place for living, so many towns, settlements and fortifications, had their own public baths, among other facilities, and they were not necessary connected to the thermal springs. This paper gives an overview of 4 main historic periods of interest for our topic: Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Serbian State, concerning public baths of all kinds, that have survived to this day or unfortunately have been destroyed recently due to the lack of interest for their rehabilitation. Here, we will look back on their state, eventual change in use or in some cases total misuse or neglect which led to degradation or destruction. Our research aims to provide insight into their current state and to offer possibilities for better treatment and protection and finally complete revitalization, instead of destruction, no matter if their official status is protected cultural monument or not.

 

Keywords:  Public baths, Thermae, Steam baths, Heritage, Hammam, Serbian spas

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