a traveller's diary

Bath

Welcome to the last post on my holidays in Britain, guys!

According to a legend, Bath was founded by the Briton Prince Bladud. Having caught leprosy, he was sent away from his castle and was forced to look after pigs; one of the pigs got infected, but after wallowing in hot mud  it was cured from that terrible disease. So the Prince did the same thing and was cured! He returned to his court and later founded the city of Bath.

Actually, it’s more likely that the Romans knew the healthy qualities of Bath springs, so they built a temple dedicated both to Sul, the  Celtic life-giving goddess, and Minerva, the Roman goddess of healing, and a public bath supplied by the hot springs. A town grew up on the site of Bath and it was called Aquae Sulis (the waters of Sul); after the Saxon invasion, it became one of the fortified towns created by Alfred the Great (like Oxford, do you remember?).

While wool trade was increasing in Britain, Bath relied above all on ill people who went there hoping to be cured. In 18th century the town became a fashionable place, full of rich visitors attracted by the new fine buildings which had been built there.

The Roman baths are Bath’s main touristic attraction and they’re characterized by four sites of interest: the Sacred Spring, the Temple, the Roman Bath House and a museum where one can find objects from Roman Baths.

The Sacred Spring is the heart of the building: here hot water at the temperature of 46°C rises, thanks to ancient gods, according to people’s belief in the past! Actually, the high temperature is due to the geothermal energy of the limestone aquifers where water percolates down! 😉

In Roman times a great Temple was built in the classical style next to the Spring and it was dedicated to the goddess Sulis Minerva.

The Great Bath is the centerpiece of the building, it’s a sort of pool fed with hot water directly from the Sacred Spring.

Well, this virtual trip is over!

I hope you enjoyed the English wonders that I described just as I enjoyed them during my holiday! 🙂

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