The Roman Baths, now a major attraction in Bath, UK, were built as part of a temple and bathing complex by the Romans in 100 BC. 60 to 70 AD in Roman Britain. The Roman Baths were built around Britain’s only hot springs for public bathing and are divided into four parts: the Holy Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House and the Museum. The Roman Baths are constantly being renovated to improve accessibility and North East Somerset Council is looking after this with grants.
To really understand every part of this UNESCO World Heritage site, including the rich history behind the museum, we recommend visiting some of the Roman Baths tours that are offered and can be pre-booked online. Here’s everything you need to know about the Roman Baths in Bath.
Must-visit places in Bath Roman Baths, UK
The Holy Spring is a cistern that was built along with complex plumbing around 70 AD, making it the first part of the Roman Baths to be built. The Roman bath house was located on the south side of the cathedral and was divided into the Great, Eastern and Western Baths. This separation is believed to have been done to have separate bathing areas for men and women. There was a common tradition of throwing valuable objects into the sacred spring as the goddess Sulis Minerva, and some of these artifacts are kept in the museum today. This includes 12,000 dan coins and several other Roman artifacts.
Roman bath house
The Roman Baths complex was designed and optimized to be perfect for the traditional Roman bathing ritual, which involved swimming for a while in a hot spring, followed by a cold plunge. The star of the bathing complex was the Great Bath, which received its heated waters directly from the Holy Spring and could be accessed by stairs. The Eastern Baths contained a large tepid bath with several heated rooms, also called the Laconicum, and water that flowed from the Great Bath to here, while the Western Baths contained plunge pools and similar heated rooms. The circular bath is where the cold plunge took place after the baths were filled with natural hot water. The King’s Bath was used to immerse bathers neck-deep in the thermal waters.
The Roman temple dedicated to the goddess Sulis Minerva is unique in that it was built in the classical style of architecture, but there is only one other classical temple in the whole of Britain. The temple, which dates back to AD in the latter part of the first century, is located on a high podium, which had to be climbed by steps passing by four huge columns. There were significant ceremonies that took place in the temple courtyard within the perimeter wall.
The Pump Room Restaurant
The famous Pump Room restaurant is associated with the Georgian bath house and is also called The Grand Pump Room. It is one of Bath’s most iconic historic buildings. It was a bath that In the 18th century, this place was one of the most famous and remains the same to this day. The restaurant here has been around for over 200 years and has always been just as popular as it is today, if not more so. Famous writers such as Charles Dickens and Jane Austen have been patrons of this restaurant in the past. The Pump Room building has its own entrance and courtyard, although it is part of the Abbey Roman Baths and is next to the Abbey Churchyard Museum and Queen’s Baths. Afternoon tea is a must here and is famous all over the world.
Can you use the Roman Baths in Bath?
While you can’t actually dive into the sights of the Roman Baths, there are several spas nearby, like the famous Thermae spa, and a few other places where you can swim.
How long does it take to see the Roman Baths in Bath?
It takes around 2 hours to see the Roman Baths in Bath properly.
Can you see the Roman Baths in Bath for free?
Most of the exterior areas of the Roman Baths are free to walk around, but it costs money to enter the Grand Pompeii Room and the Abbey Churchyard, although it is extremely well worth it.
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