Today’s city of Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features magnificent neoclassical Palladian architecture and stunning landscapes overlooking historical landmarks; but how did such monolithic scenic perfection come to be?
The Legend of Bath
According to legend, Bath was largely vacant until around 863 BC when its founder, King Bladud discovered its power and magnificence purely by accident. Bladud was a potential heir to the thrown in Britain studying in Athens, Greece when he contracted leprosy. As a result of his newly acquired disfigurement, he was banished from the courts and forced to herd swine for a living in the vicinity of Bath. Bladud observed that the swine that rolled around in the steaming mud of the baths had immaculate skin that was free of blemishes whereas the swine that never went near the muds of the hot spring were covered in all kinds of imperfections. Witnessing this, he bathed in the hot muddy waters of the baths and was cured of his leprosy. Bladud was thereafter restored his royal lineage and crowned the founding King of Bath where he reigned for years.
Bath experienced its next incarnation after their invasion of Britain around 43 AD, when the Romans occupied the city of Bath. Many of the grand temples and bathing complexes that were built during the Roman occupation of Bath, including that of the Great Bath, are what hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to marvel at each year. The core element of the Roman Bath is the sacred spring where hot water rises at a temperature of 46°C at the abundant rate of 1,170,000 litres (240,000 gallons). The sacred spring has been doing this for thousands of years and long before the Romans invaded Britain. To the ancient people of Bath, this inexplicable phenomenon could only be a miracle of the gods.
The city of Bath England fell into disrepair after the decline of the Roman empire in the beginning of the 5th century. By the 1700s, Bath had been rediscovered by the British aristocracy and high society. This faction believed that the hot spring waters of Bath had healing powers and one’s well-being could be restored both by bathing in it and drinking it. With this faith, more and more people flocked to Bath to experience the therapeutic waters of the hot springs.
John Wood, a native carpenter of Bath, was inspired by drawings of beautiful buildings that he saw while traveling in London. He introduced these ideas of classical architecture to Bath. Wood built beautiful terraces of houses in classical style to look like buildings from Italy and Greece and used a honey-colored stone called oolitic limestone, which makes up the magnificent city of Bath as we know it today.
Today, over 2 million people visit the sophisticated city of Bath each year to experience its unique architecture, artistic culture and beautiful landscapes. Some notable Bathonians are Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, Charles Dickens, Peter Gabriel, Alison Goldfrapp and Andrew Lincoln.
A number of our England Tours makes stops in Bath as well as its neighboring mystical destination of Stonehenge. Our authentic travel agents are all experts in England as well as Ireland and Scotland and can advise you in planning a memorable vacation that is scheduled based on your destination requirements. Our dedication to our clients does not end when you’ve booked your trip. With offices in both Europe and the US, we offer extensive travel advice and assistance while you’re abroad should the need arise. Below are a number of England vacation packages which include Bath in the itinerary. Many also include Stonehenge tours for those of you who’d like to experience both.
7-Night Heart of Wales & England
7-Night Heart of Wales & England
On this tour, you'll spend four nights in England, and three in Wales. Begin your tour in London, with a two night stay that will afford ample time to explore this iconic city. Next, journey west into Wales, visiting mysterious Stonehenge and...