Category: City of Bath.

Bath England: Bubbling with history

by Bob Ecker

Bath, England:

Bath_Roman_Bath_Interior_2_exYou’ve probably heard of Bath, a curious old Roman touristy spot somewhere in the southwest of England, but why bother? Bother, oh yeah. This place is special and has been so for almost two thousand years.

Exceedingly lively and bustling with activity, Bath has withstood-the-test-of-time as a vibrant, world famous tourist center attracting more than 2.5 million visitors annually. Full of ancient history and ruins and natural hot springs cultivated by the Romans, Bath’s history, art, literature and quintessential Georgian and Palladian architecture is on display. Surrounded by gorgeous countryside, and within easy access of London, historic Bath is fun.

Bordered by the lovely Cotswold’s, near the on-the-rise Bristol, Bath was awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 1987 in honor of its history. Founded by the Romans on the site of the only hot springs in England, said Romans knew a valuable spot when they found one. They developed this town for its underground springs, natural beauty and proximity to the coast. “I feel like I’m in a European Country town. This place is so cosmopolitan, yet charming,” said Colleen O’Neal, visiting from Dublin, Ireland.

Bath History:

Bath_AbbeyCeltic tribes occupied this area long ago and worshipped the goddess “Sulis,” near the hot, bubbling healing waters. Various Celtic remains have been found below the Roman ruins dating back from before 500 BC. The Cross Bath, back in operation, has been designated a Celtic sacred site and people to this day, come to this small bath for healing, contemplative rites and rituals.

The Romans arrived in Britain in 43 AD, discovered Bath and unlike most conquests, built a city of leisure, instead of a military garrison town. They called Bath “Aquae Sulis,” and constructed a walled city on the banks of the River Avon. Believed to have begun at around 60 AD, the Roman Baths operated as a healing as well as social centre for more than 300 years. The Romans eventually left Britain around 400 AD and were replaced by ever growing numbers of Christian settlers, who enjoyed the baths just the same. The founding of St. John’s Hospice, (still operating) near the Cross Bath in 1174 is a testament to the known healing powers of the waters’ healing properties.

Bath_Jane_Austen_Centre_exThroughout recorded history, even as a partial ruins, England’s “Roman Bath’s” continued to draw interest, and by the relatively calm Georgian period, health tourism started flourishing. Visitors who had heard of the healing properties of these hot springs began visiting Bath in greater numbers. In 1704, Queen Ann visited Bath herself, to partake of the therapeutic waters and this Royal visit (just like today) was a boon for tourism. Soon after, construction ramped up with well organized 18th Century projects such as the Circus, Royal Crescent and the Pulteny Bridge (modeled after Florence’s Ponte Vecchio). By the 19th Century Bath was also known as a cultural and literature centre of English country life, drawing writers such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and William Wordsworth to the city.

Source link

Category: City of Bath
Please login to your facebook account before comment.