Atlas Obscura is organizing trips! Join us on an adventure »
Today Only: 50% off Atlas Obscura books and calendars at Barnes & Noble »

Thessaloniki, Greece

Thessaloniki Brothel

A two thousand year old brothel uncovered in Northern Greece. 

A two-thousand-year-old brothel attached to a public bath was uncovered in the ancient forum of Thessaloniki in 1997.

The bath includes a circular room with twenty-five bath tubs, heated pools, and a circular sweating room similar in operation to a modern sauna. The brothel operated in a two-story building next to and in direct communication with the bathhouse, with a dining room on the ground floor, and pleasure rooms on top of it. 

The findings from the brothel, vases of clay and glass, a large penis-like alabaster vase, jars with penis-like mouths, even parts of a sexual aid with a hand-driven pulsating shaft, were once exhibited in a special “adults only” room of the small underground museum constructed as an extension to the forum’s cryptoporticum, but aren’t visible anymore.

The baths and brothel complex dates from the second century BC, and it was destroyed by fire, probably as a result of an earthquake, in the last quarter of the first century AD.