People need to relieve themselves and bathe somewhere, but nothing says they can't do it in style. History is full of absolutely insane famous bathrooms, from Napoleon's marble-encrusted retreat to Marie Antoinette's coveted flushing toilet. And then there's the Gilded Age – true to the spirit of the times, the Garrett family's bathroom had a gold toilet seat. These bathrooms in history are covered in artwork, adorned with velvet, and oh-so-fabulous.
True, not every historic bathroom is what a modern person would consider top-of-the-line, unless you're a fan of port-o-potties. In fact, ancient Roman royalty rarely got to use the porcelain (or rather, stone) throne without being bothered. Their bathrooms were almost entirely public and they saw bodily functions as a social activity. Bathing was seen as a total luxury, and you'd be hard pressed to find a pool of water, let alone an actual shower, in most historical royal residencies. It wasn't until Marie Antoinette popularized the flushing toilet in the 1700s that people stopped using latrines and chamber pots.
This bathroom history timeline will show you some of the most luxurious bathrooms on the planet – at least, at the time.
Louis XV's Versailles Bathroom Is The Height Of OpulencePhoto: This Is Versailles / via Blogspot
Versailles became synonymous with opulence during the reign of King Louis XIV, and that grandeur continued with Louis XV. He continued rebuilding and redecorating the palace, and this bathroom was one of the last things added to Versailles before his death. The woodwork was specially crafted with aquatic themes, and the green marble fireplace kept any bathing royals cozy. According to some sources, Louis didn't use the room for hygiene; he used it to store his personal accounts.4,810590Is this lavish?
King Henry VIII Had Taps For Hot And Cold Water
It's good to be king. While indoor plumbing was rare in Tudor England, King Henry VIII had his own private bathroom at Hampton Court with both hot and cold water. Historian Simon Thurley described the opulent room:
"The bathroom had deep window-seats with cupboards beneath and a ceiling decorated with gold battens on a white background. The baths were made by a cooper and were attached to the wall; they were supplied by two taps, one for cold water and one for hot. Directly behind the bathroom, in another small room, was a charcoal- fired stove, or boiler, fed from a cistern on the second floor which was filled by the coombe conduit."
Henry's baths no longer exist, but photographs of the interior of Hampton Court Palace hint at how over-the-top they must have been.2,064291Is this lavish?
Mary, Queen Of Scots Had A House-Sized BathroomPhoto: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
Historians debate whether this structure was a summer home or a massive bathroom, but either way, Queen Mary had plenty of space to do her business. This quirky little house, located in Edinburgh, Scotland, is allegedly where Mary would bathe in sweet white wine during the late 16th century. Remember, back then baths were a luxury rather than necessity. Is there anything more lavish than filling up the tub with wine and taking a dip?4,078723Is this lavish?
Virginia Courtauld Relaxed In An Art Deco-Meets-Tudor BathroomPhoto: english-heritage.org.uk / via Pinterest
Socialite Virginia Courtauld may not have been royalty, but this insanely wealthy wife lived in the luxurious Eltham Palace. Before Courtauld moved in during the 1930s, these digs belonged to Henry VIII. Courtauld's bathroom, located off her private master suite, was encrusted in gold leaf and onyx. The expansive space has Grecian-inspired elements, like a statue of Psyche resting above lavish bronze bathtub taps.2,874545Is this lavish?