1 May 2006 - Bath, England
Bath is often mentioned in books and news articles, usually for its famous baths but also its architectural splendour. This and the fact that all things Roman fascinate me made Bath an interesting subject for a bank holiday trip.
The baths themselves are very different from Roman times though at the lower levels the Roman origins are quite obvious. In Roman times the building had a roof but now it is open and surrounded by a Victorian terrace. Below the baths are various rooms and smaller bathing chambers where the visitor can inspect these and the heating systems.
Bath - The Great Bath I
The visitor centre is well organised and has plenty of explanations and reconstructions for the visitor to understand how this monument came to be. Upon entry the visitor receives and audio guide which can be used at each of the numbered stations within the entire bath complex.
The original Roman construction can be seen in the lower levels of the complex. This is the view from the terrace.
Bath - The Great Bath II
The hot water that flow from the springs into the Great Bath are clear but the water in the bath appears green from algae within the bath. When this was originally part of the Roman bath complex the roof blocked sunlight from reaching the water and thus preventing algae growth. Artists impressions of the complex based upon the archeological evidence show that the bath itself was an impressive and comfortable building.
Bath - The Great Bath III
From this level can be accessed several excavated passages to chambers ,baths and the hypocaust (heating system) beneath street level. In effect they are a museum and some interesting artifacts that were found are on display. I never fail to be impressed by finding of everyday life such as the small, wrapped up lead sheets with curses against certain individuals inscribed upon them. These were thrown into the waters in the hope that the gods would make the curse happen.