The large building of the so-called Scholastica Baths, discovered in 1926, was constructed in the late first or the early second century CE. P. Quintilius Valens Varius originally built the baths, and the building is sometimes referred to as the Varius Baths. However, the remains that we can see today are from the 4th century CE when a Christian woman named Scholastica carried out the renovation project. Her seated, headless statue still decorates a niche in the apodyterium.
The baths are separated from the latrines and the residential houses by a narrow lane called Academy Street, leading down from the north slope of Panayırdağ. There are two entrances, one from this street and another — from the Curetes Street. The visit to the Scholastica Baths offers a chance to understand the bathing habits of the ancient Ephesians. As only the most wealthy homes were equipped with private baths, the vast majority of the inhabitants of the city had to use public baths instead. In ancient times, the visit to the baths was a part of the daily routine. Men and women usually bathed separately - in the same baths but at different parts of the day. The visit was not only the occasion to get clean, but also to relax, get a massage, and exchange information and gossip.
The Scholastica Baths are an excellent illustration of how elaborated the Roman baths could be - their plan was far more advanced than the one of a simple bathroom. The original structure was thought to have been three-storied, but the upper two stories collapsed. The plan of the ground floor follows a typical Roman-era bathhouse. First, the visitors entered the dressing room (apodyterium), then - the cold room (frigidarium) with the pool, followed by the warm room (tepidarium) to relax, and finally - the hot room (caldarium) with an elaborate heating system. The ceramic fragments of the hypocaust system that heated the baths can still be seen there. The main architectural style of the modified structure is very similar to the original form from the 1st century CE.
This text is a fragment of a guidebook to Ephesus: "The Secrets of Ephesus".