I love the City Of Bath. Love all the lovely buildings and the cobblestone roads. So pretty and quaint. I think my favorite building is the Bath Abbey. A beautiful cathedral with beautiful stain glass windows.
Bath has been home to historic writers, such as Jane Austin, artists such as Gainsborough, architects and designers John Wood and Goodridge, inventors, John Oliver
Of course the main attraction in Bath is the Roman Bath. The City of Bath is built at the mouth of an extinct volcano and was renown in its time as a spa town.
The Roman Baths Complex has be wonderfully preserved from the times of the Romans and gives a great insight to their cultural and social habits. It’s also interesting to note that Bath is the only place in the whole of UK that has natural hot spring waters!
Although the bath waters still bubbles at 46C today, visitors are not allowed to enter the waters as the spring still runs through the original lead pipes that may have radioactive substances. Also, the biggest threat is infectious diseases. However, if you would like to experience the hot springs of bath with all it’s reputed healing powers, you may head to Thermae Bath Spa which is located in a different building. It is a modern bath that was specially built so people can enjoy the Bath Spring Waters.
Entrance came in a form of a little plastic token. And the moment I walked in, I was mesmerized by the ceilings and walls of the interior.
The Roman Baths started around 60-70AD when the Celts used this place as a shrine to Sulis. Later the Romans continued populating the Bath and dedicated it to Minerva (also known as Athena to some).
My photos absolutely doesn’t do the place enough justice. I also loved how they incorporated modern chandeliers that seem to go so well with this Roman architecture.
On the terrace overlooking the Great Bath, you can see many carvings of Roman Emperors and Governors of Roman Britain.
A quick tour of the museum gives one a better understanding of the importance of the Roman Bath in ancient times.
Many artifacts from the temple can be seen. From Tritons (mermens) that served Neptune to Gorgon heads and Oceanus, the temple has a mixture of statues that serves both Celtic and Roman gods.
The picture above is supposedly of a Gorgon in a very rare male form. Usually Gorgons with their head of snakes are depicted as females.
Also noteworthy is a large collection of curses. About 130 curse tablets or binding spells have been found at the Baths. This is about as close a look we have to ancient Roman/Greek form of black magic. A similar practice to what the Chinese have in the form of “Ta Xiao Ren”. Other than curses which are carved into thin metal plates, sometimes you can find a love spell or two! Not surprisingly, a large number of curse tablets found at the bath relates to getting their clothes stolen while they are in the bath. LOL.
Standing next to the stream of hot spring, I can feel the heat as it dissipates quickly into the winter chilly air.
The main bath area is actually located underground from the main building. The water is a lovely shade of blue and steam can be seen rising despite the rainy weather. It would have been such a glorious bath in its heydays.
Also, in a scared spring nearby, there are about 12000 Roman coins found. I supposed they were offered to the Goddess in a wishing well style. This is the largest collective votive deposit known from Britain.
Hope you found Bath to be as interesting as I do. I’ll do another follow up post on the City of Bath soon 🙂