As Time Goes By

Public baths had their historical origins in a communal need for cleanliness and assumed different roles throughout history, from saunas and massages, to social meeting places with multipurpose facilities. Their use entered into decline as modern societies evolve and housing concept started to accommodate private bathing facilities to everyone.

The photo above was taken in one of the latest public baths of its class, serving at its time part of a large city’s population. The complex consisted of two large buildings — each housing a swimming pool — connected by a third building, where sporting facilities, saunas and other forms of hydrotherapies could be found.

The large swimming pool, also known as the Man’s Swimming Pool, is 25 meter long and is decorated with turquoise coloured tiles. Its depth ranged from 50cm to 3,50 meters. In the south-oriented part of the building, two stairways lead to the galleries above. The entire facility is no longer in use and local developments in the local real state sector renders the future of the once full and cheerful water pool uncertain, almost like a clepsydra which has ran out of time.

The photo was taken with the camera position almost under the ceiling using a fisheye lens — too much use of a tilt-shift lens recently almost made me forget how fun their distortion can be — and consists of nine brackets tone mapped in HDR with post-production in photoshop.