Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Roman Baths

Pages from Jan's Travel Journal: April 26, 2015

We packed a lot of sightseeing into one day. Visiting the Roman Baths in Bath, UK was one of the highlights of our visit to England. The historic complex is one of the most popular attractions in the United Kingdom and is not to be missed if you are anywhere in the area.

During Roman times this pool was covered
 with an arched, wooden roof.

The 2,000-year-old ruins were a marvel of engineering! The self-guided tour, using audio guides, allowed us to explore at our leisure. We wandered through the bathing temple and through the adjacent rooms completely fascinated by every aspect. 

The fascinating Roman Baths, Bath UK.

The Roman Baths were excavated between 1978 and 1983. We learned many interesting facts about how the rooms were built and utilized. We discovered how the hot spring water was piped into the baths, using methods that still operate today. If I am able to visit this area again in the future, I would love to spend some time at the Bath Spa to experience the healing waters of the hot springs. 

The great drain is viewed through a glass floor.

There are many interesting displays in the museum, such as intricate carvings and the largest cache of Roman coins ever discovered in Britain. The curse tablets were also quite fascinating. They were small leaves of lead alloy on which were inscribed curses invoking the goddess, Sulis Minerva, to punish perpetrators of such crimes as the theft of a bathing tunic, money, or jewelry.

Another view of the main pool.

The walls and columns would have been brightly painted in days gone by.

The Romans were undisputed as engineers and the Roman Baths are a fine example. We enjoyed learning of the clever methods they had devised to take advantage of the natural hot springs in the area, though the first shrine was actually built by the Celts.

One of many sculptures at the Roman baths.

That evening, we had to walk a bit before we were able to find an open restaurant. I hadn't realized that so many of the eateries in Bath would be closed on Sunday. Our meal at the Firehouse Rotisserie was pretty good. I enjoyed a Margarita pizza, while Mathieu had one that was topped with butternut squash, bleu cheese, and bacon. Craig chose a burger instead of pizza, while Darcy nibbled on a duck confit quesadilla. 

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