As we close in on our second year of travel adventures, we came to Bath, England, "...known for its natural hot springs and 18th century Georgian architecture." After King Bladud discovered the hot springs in 836 BC, the Celts built the first shrine here, dedicated to the goddess Sulis. The Romans began construction of a temple and a bath complex (known as "Aquae Sulis" - "the waters of Sulis") in 60 AD. According to what we learned while visiting this site, rain water fell on the nearby Mendip Hills and worked its way down through the limestone aquifer (to an approximate depth of 14,000 feet) where it was heated by geothermal energy. Forced back up to the surface by pressure through fissures, it formed natural hot springs. During the 18th century, father and son architects, John Wood,the Elder and the Younger, constructed the current building over the baths. In 1987, the whole city of Bath, England was named a World Heritage Site. We've mentioned several times that we love history and this place is exactly the reason why.
The above ground entrance to the baths was designed by John Wood, the Elder and John Wood, the Younger.
This statue of King Bladud, recorded discoverer of the natural hot springs, overlooks the baths.
View of the King's bath from the upper terrace, with the Bath Abbey in the background.
The statues adorning the upper terrace depict the Roman Governors of the Province of Britannia.
Gorgon's head from the temple pediment.
The complex has several bathing areas. This is the Circular Bath.
These pillars once supported the floor of the Hot Bath.
After soaking for awhile in the hot bath, Romans would then enter the cold bath to close the pores of their skin.
The baths were fed by natural hot springs emanating from the limestone aquifer.
Remnants of the Hippocamp mosaic tiled floor.
Adorning one of the side walls of the Roman Baths is this plaque designating the city of Bath as a World Heritage site...
...along with the World Heritage symbol in the street.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.