If you like novels by Jane Austen or any English film that takes place in the XNUMXth century, then you must have heard of Bath. Yes, the spa of the English upper class of that time, almost alma mater of tourism that would come later as an industry without chimneys.
Did you also know that Bath is a World Heritage Site? Yes, it has a millenary history, in addition to occupying a great chapter for English industry in the XNUMXth century. So, as you can see, the city has more than one charm and that means that being in the country one must, yes or yes, take a walk and visit it.
Bath in Roman times
Bath It was founded in the XNUMXst century AD by the Roman Empire that by then he had managed to cross the English Channel. The hot, natural springs of the area, made it become an old spa, although in reality it is alreadyn Bronze Age times the lands were occupied.
In fact, the hill overlooking the present city, Solsbury Hill, was at that time a fort and other constructions are also known thanks to archaeological excavations. It seems that the Romans took advantage of some sanctuaries and aggiornaron to his own cult. Thus, a shrine dedicated to the goddess Sulis was dedicated to Minerva. Later, in the following centuries, the facilities of the thermal complex would take shape.
Already in the century II AD the typical structures of a Roman bath appeared: the caldarium, the tepidarium and frigidarium. In turn, the ancient Roman town was surrounded by defensive walls, but eventually, with the fall of the empire towards the fifth century everything fell into disuse. By the ninth century the urban pattern of the Roman people had vanished and the lands were royal property.
Over time the town grew under the protection of an abbey. New hot springs were built around the springs and afterwards the city experienced all the ups and downs of the kingdom's political history. Many of the areas of the city were built in the Stuart period and the same in the Georgian period., which was when the number of visitors skyrocketed. This period is precisely the one reflected in Jane Austen's novels.
Bath is in the valley of avalon, surrounded by hills. The river that used to be irregular and full of streams and flooded areas and ponds, was channeled into a single channel and the flooding problems ended in the 70s of the XNUMXth century.
The hot waters, The springs, emerge from the Mendip Hills. They actually originate from rain that penetrates the ground and goes straight to underground aquifers more than 2500 meters deep. There, thanks to geothermal energy, the temperature of the water rises to a temperature between 60 and 96 ºC. Under pressure, the water rises to the surface, sneaking between the cracks in the limestone, and tourism takes advantage of it.
Bath has a milder climate than the rest of the country although it rains a lot. He calculates that in summer the temperature is around 21ºC. Partly thanks to the green belt that surrounds it and that was drawn up in the 50s. All this contributes to the fact that tourism continues to be the main engine of the city.
What can we do in Bath? Well, without a doubt, first know the archeological ruins that is in the center. The old roman baths they are below the current ground level, and there are very old pillars and foundations. Then there is the Bath Abbey which, although it is older, has a building dating from the XNUMXth century and which is very beautiful.
Many the buildings date from the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries and the Georgian style predominates, with clear facades, built in local stone. Today many of these houses are hotels so it is worth staying overnight to really experience Bath life. Or your past.
The Circus It is the destination in Bath. Is about curved terraces designed by John Wood that give shape to an open circular space that was used for activities or games. With a certain air, the Colosseum in Rome has three facades with a different architectural style each, on the columns: Ionic, Doric and Corinthian. Of these terraces the most striking is Royal Crescent dating from the second half of the eighteenth century, but other very beautiful are Somerset Pace o Lansdown Crescent.
Over the River Avon there is a neoclassical bridge, the Pulteney Bridge. It has commercial arcades, which is why it resembles the famous Ponte Vecchio in Florence, and has hardly changed since its construction. Pump Room, the Georgian streets, the guild building, the boulevard, the theaters of the city that there are five and they are all renowned, their museums...
As you can see, a day alone in Bath is not enough: there are boating, bus rides, guided walks and day trips from Bath. Everything is worth it. The truth is that Bath is surrounded by canals and can be explored by boat, there are hour-long rides, with a picnic basket, or you can get to Bathampton. If you travel with friends you can rent a bigger boat and explore on your own or eat in the only floating restaurant in town, John Rennie.
There are also bus rides in the classic hop on hop off. You visit the iconic sites of Bath without having to walk far, and on board you learn about British history in the most relaxed way possible. Even there are tours that go as far as Stonehenge, Glastonbury, Cotswolds...
And obviously Bath is hot springs so there are hot springs and spa to take advantage of. The modern bathrooms are those of Thermae Bath Spa, with a swimming pool on the terrace and services that relax the mind and body. The views from the terrace are spectacular but you can also choose between 40 different treatments. No need to join or anything like that, you can pay for just two hours of spa, for example, for a price of 40 pounds. The offer is numerous, as this is not the only hotel that offers spas and treatments.
And finally, Bath is synonymous with Roman baths and modern baths as well. is synonymous with Jane Austen. The writer lived here between 1801 and 1806 and you can follow in her footsteps through her novels. There is the Jane Austen Center and there is also a Jane Austen Festival and a Tour Jane Austen which includes vintage clothing. I'm dying! So, you know, if you go to England, take a tour of Bath!