An ancient shrine and sacred hot spring for the Celts, it was taken over by the Romans who built a temple and a complex that might just be the oldest spa in Britain! These days it has been turned into a museum and one of the main tourist attractions in the city of Bath. A beautifully preserved place that reminds us that a nice warm bath is a comfort that has been enjoyed for thousands of years.
The Roman Baths in the town of Bath are a popular tourist attraction. This ancient spa is now mainly a museum which displays many artifacts that were found on site and scale models of what the public baths and temple looked like in Roman times.
The Roman temple was dedicated to the goddess Minerva, whom they associated with the Celt goddess Sulis to whom this hot spring was originally dedicated to. The carving of a Gorgon’s head, which can still be seen in the museum, formed part of the pediment that stood as the entrance to the temple and it is of particular interest not only because it is a beautiful example of Roman and Celt art fused into one but also because Gorgons were usually depicted as women and yet this Gorgon head is clearly that of a man which leads some people to argue that perhaps it is the god Neptune or a Celtic god. Whichever it might be, God or Gorgon, one cannot help but be trapped by it’s gaze and wonder what it must have been like to walk under it’s stare and into the temple it guarded.
Looking over the big pool, it is also easy to let the mind slip back in time and imagine one’s self walking at the halls of the public bathhouse, enjoying the thermal waters, or perhaps having a massage in one of the many rooms of which the foundations and parts of some walls still remain. And if you feel so inclined to have a hot bath or relax in the pool there is some bad news: you cannot do it at the museum. The good news is that the city is true to it’s name and has other places where you can still enjoy a bath in the waters of the hot spring, it is a great experience and a sure way to let the waters wash away your worries and enjoy a nice warm bath – Mother Nature style.
For more info on the place visit their website at: http://www.romanbaths.co.uk/