About the history of the restaurant’s location
The hotel restaurant is built over the area of the antique roman thermae of the Diocletian’s palace, a sort of a forerunner of the welnesses and spa of today.
According to the beliefs of the ancient Romans, taking baths, combined with healthy eating , massages and excercise was the key to good health. The area that had all of this in one place were the public baths called thermae (latin, derived from the greek “thermos” – warm.).
In other aspects, the baths can be imagined as a combination of todays library, a gallery, a restaurant, marketplace, fitness, a swimming pool and a sauna. These spectacular buildings of the Roman Empire were a central meeting point, a place to relax and socialize with the other members of the community – rich or poor, free or slaves, women and men, children and adults) and were an important part of the life of the old Romans.
The rooms of the baths were placed in a line, interconnected and had a different role in the enjoyment that lasted for hours at a time.
The pools were mostly located in the apsidas of the rooms (a half-dome parts of a building) that can be seen in the main hall of the restaurant. The central floor of the restaurant is built above the hypocaust, a sort of a floor heating system that was used in the baths at that time.
Hypocaust is the area below the floor, consisting of pillars that were holding the floor, trough which hot air was let to pass, thus heating the rooms above.
The apsidas and the hypocaust mentioned can be seen on the photo. While today the hypocaust in the floor was covered in order to preserve it, the apsidas are partly visible.
Together with the public baths, private ones existed too, and they were reserved only to the emperor and the members of his family. One example of such a type of baths is located in the Diocletian’s palace. To the both sides of the southern part of the palace thermal buildings existed – the eastern baths and the western baths. The latter were connected to the emperor’s residential chambers, and in their most part they are located on the ground level of the Slavija hotel. Hotel’s restaurant is located on the area that once were the most important rooms of the emperor’s baths – the caldarium, tepidarium and frigidarium.
The baths are an unbelievable accomplishment in the field of architecture of the Roman Age, and their remnants are preserved and kept safe with pride in our restaurant and hotel.