Jun 14 2011

POTD: The Roman Baths

by in Photo of the Day, United Kingdom, Western Europe

Despite living in London for a year, I didn’t travel around the United Kingdom very much. There were plenty of trips my friends and I contemplated taking, and we would occasionally research rates for a bed and breakfast in the Cotswolds, a few days at the beach in Brighton, a short trip to Edinburgh, or beachfront hotels in Blackpool. Despite this, we usually ended up either going abroad or, if we did travel around the UK, taking short day trips outside the capital.

One trip we did take was to Bath, a very popular tourist destination in the south west of England, located 97 miles west of London. The city is fortunate to host several natural hot springs that provide 1,170,000 litres of water per day at a temperature of 114.8 °F. Throughout its history, these natural hot springs have drawn many visitors to the region, and the city is most well-known for its Roman Baths that are located in the beautiful city center. The original Roman baths were built around 60-70 AD during the Roman conquest of Britain on the orders of Emperor Claudius and contained three baths (a hot bath, warm bath, and cold bath) enclosed within a wooden barrel-vaulted building. These baths were eventually destroyed in the 6th century, however, after the Romans left and the baths fell into disrepair. The present structures date from the late 1700s, and, although you can no longer bathe in these baths due to the unsafe water, it is still a very interesting place to visit from a historical perspective, especially if you have any interest in Roman history.

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