Client: Back-Roads Touring
A Brief History of Bath
Bath is a city that feels like a palatial garden, with its squares, terraces, facades, and bridges that are intermittently placed in and around shades of green. While the origins of Bath are shrouded in mystery, we know that it was, to some degree, settled by the Celts, but it didn’t come into its own until the Romans discovered it in the first century AD during the Roman invasion. The focal point of this settlement was, of course, the hot springs, and it was this foundation that temples and walls were constructed to form hubs of social activity. When the Roman Empire collapsed, and their presence faded, the spas fell into disrepair and were lost, it wasn’t until the 18th century that the springs were rediscovered. Under King George I, II, and III, Bath began to flourish as a cultural hotspot as great restoration projects were undertaken and since then it has become the famed elegant city of art, literature, and stunning architecture that we see today.
Since 1987, the entire city of Bath has held the coveted designation of World Heritage site by UNESCO. This title is reserved for places that are typified by significant cultural value and worldwide appeal, which is made more unique by the fact that it is the only city-wide World Heritage site in the UK. It is a city of supreme visual harmony and urban planning, Bath is epitomised by its masterful aesthetics of Georgian and Roman architectural influence, which have been deliberately entwined with natural hills and trees of green for monumentalized and grandiose views. It’s easy to the why the city is revered so much as a site of historical significance, it is a living legacy to two majestic periods of history.
Relics of unmatched authenticity, this is the only place that you can enjoy the same warm and rich waters that were relished by the Romans around 2000 years ago. This labyrinth of bathing complexes is considered one of the greatest historical sites that Europe can offer. A staggering amount of the original construction remains, meaning that you can experience the baths for their intended and original use. There is a reason why this is one of the most visited attractions in the entire UK, drawing in a million visitors each year.
The site on which the Bath Abbey stands is steeped in a past that is coloured by rises, falls, conflict, and endurance. But, a place of Christian worship has stood in this spot, in the heart of Bath since the 7th century. Its origins began as a humble Anglo-Saxon monastery, before being transformed into a great Norman cathedral in the 10th century, and lastly, the spectacular visage of worship we see today which was completed in the 16th century. It was the inspiration of a dream in which the foundations were laid, as a Bishop named Oliver King imagined angels climbing a ladder to heaven, a scene which is intricately displayed in the west façade in stone of honey and gold.
The Abbey is a marvel of Gothic architecture, and you can endlessly marvel at its elaborate beauty, like the vivid stained glass windows, and the ornate and flowery fault fan ceilings.
The aesthetic appeal of Bath is the result of architects John Wood and Robert Adam who calculatingly set out to create a beautiful city. Each building is a demonstration of their vision, which is logical, harmonious, and achingly beautiful. Every structure is afforded great distinction, laden with creamy gold stone, and planted like a seed in the green hills that characterise bath. It is this integration of architecture and landscape was key to achieving the picturesque views that were rapidly imitated throughout Europe
It’s the kind of city you can get lost in, fully immerse yourself, and seek out every nook and cranny.