October 12, 2008

Visiting the Roman Bath

The site of the only hot springs in Britain, Bath was developed by the Romans into the town of Aquae Sulis Minerva, named in honor of the local goddess Sul and her Roman successor.

It's also famous becuase Jane Austin has lived in this town between between the years 1801-1806. She preferred the quiet country life, so she chosen to stay here.

The city is most interesting because it has two cities built right on top of each other. The first came the Lower Rooms which once stood near the Abbey, where the Terrace Walk fountain is today. Destroyed by fire in the early 1800's, they were never rebuilt. Then the Upper Rooms were built by private subscription adjacent to the elegant Circus. Standing literally higher than the old town, the Upper Rooms drew clientele from the upper echelons of society. Today the Upper Rooms convey the beauty of the chandeliered ballroom, elegant banquet hall, exquisite tea rooms and sophisticated bed and breakfast, so beloved by the fashionable turiosts.

Here is the ancient bath where the roman goddess literally took bath.

Here is how the inside looked like.

We were encouraged by the tour guide to test the temperatur of the water by sticking our hand into the water, but strongly warned not to try the taste of the water given the fact that the water was used for bathing the ancient goddess 2000 years ago. The Brithish people sometimes can be funny.

A city full of charms.

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