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Bath

We had one of our very few bad-weather experiences during our time in Bath. I'd been looking forward to wandering its picturesque streets and looking at the wonderful architecture Rick Steves had raved about in my UK guidebook, but it was cold and rainy, so we didn't do too much of that.

However, the main attractions—the Abbey and the eponymous Baths—took up almost all our time anyway. The church is quite beautiful and has some interesting history going for it, but the Baths are truly amazing and the site and accompanying museum are well-maintained and give visitors lots to learn and think about regarding the Roman period of British history. The few pictures on display here were my favorites, but there are many others worth seeing in this Flickr set. And here is my Stonehenge/Bath blog post for on-the-spot impressions. For more information on the Baths, the link above is to the official website with lots of historical and archeological details.


First, two shots taken from street level, looking down into the main bath—still steamy and inviting after 2000 years!

Roman Bath [spacer] Roman Bath

Now, some shots from later in our tour, when we were at water level:

Roman Baths [spacer] Roman Bath
 
Roman Baths
[spacer]
Roman Baths

Scenic and beautiful as the Baths are, their story, from a historical viewpoint, makes the site the fascinating place that it is. And what's even cooler is that the archeological study that's uncovered this story is still going on! So a jaunt through the museum offers great views of active archeological sites within the complex, like the one below. The space it shows is full of tiles which the Romans would heat in order to warm water in some sections of the Baths. Clever domestic engineers, those guys! Plus the heat tiles made a terrific photo opp.

heat tiles

More traditionally artistic tiles are also on offer at the museum. Isn't this Roman mosaic beautiful?! It's also a great example of the combination of museum/archeological site that the Roman Baths are. On the right is another museum exhibit, one of the interesting pieces of statuary found on the site.

Roman mosaic Roman head

And here's another beautiful room in the Baths complex. An altogether very rewarding way to spend a rainy afternoon:

Bath pool


Right outside of the Roman baths complex—and built on part of the ancient site—is Bath's other big attraction, the Abbey, more formally called the Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. It's a very impressive structure, worthy of such an impressive name, as these two exterior shots demonstrate:

Bath Abbey [spacer] Bath Abbey

But, as with any Gothic church, the real appeal is in the details, inside and out, such as these:

Abbey detail [spacer] Abbey ceiling [spacer] Abbey detail

The windows are always some of my favorite features in churches, and you can tell that the Abbey has some spectacular ones in these interior photos:

interior of the Abbey
[spacer] Abbey window

I'd love to return to Bath on a prettier day and take advantage of its other scenic and historical attractions. Here are a few interesting things we were able to see: a street performer, a handsome vista, and some lush countryside on the way out of town through a rain-streaked bus window.

street performer in Bath [spacer] view of Bath
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countryside near Bath

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