Bath is a city that is located in England’s Somerset county. It is located ninety-seven miles from London and has a population of over eighty-three thousand resident. This city achieved city status in 1590 under a Royal Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I. It would go on to become a county borough in 1889, which effectively gave it independence from Somerset. The city can trace its history to the mid-first century, when it was a Roman spa resort known as Aquae Sulis (“Waters of Sulis”). It was formed because of the many hot springs in the area, which allowed the Romans to create many bath houses around the River Avon. It would continue as a spa resort well into the Georgian era. This caused a major expansion of the city during that period and that is why the city has some of the most prominent Georgian architecture in all of Europe. In 1987, Bath would become recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Though Bath once had a thriving manufacturing sector, in recent years it has been in decline. Today, the economic strength of the city is bolstered by software, publishing and service industries. Important service industries in the city include retail, professional services, education, health care and tourism. Tourism is the bread and butter industry of this city and employs a large number of people. This booming tourist trade has led to a large number of retail shops, restaurants and cafes. The city attracts more than three million daily visitor, and a third of those spend at least one night in Bath’s hotels. All this tourist activity can be evidenced by the large number of accommodations that are available in the city. There are over one hundred and eighty bed and breakfasts, and over eighty hotels. Hotels that are popular in Bath include Best Western Abbey Hotel, Carfax Hotel, Windsor Townhouse Hotel, Hilton Bath City Hotel, Royal Crescent Hotel, Harington’s Hotel and The Royal Hotel. The city of Bath also has a large number of tourist attractions which include museums, historical buildings and theaters.
A popular attraction in the city, and one that it derives its name from, is the Roman Baths and Pump Room. This well preserved site was one of the original Roman baths in the area and receives more than a million visitors each year. The major features of the Roman Baths are the Sacred Spring, The Roman Temple, The Bath House and the Museum. The museum contains artifacts that were tossed into the springs by the Romans either as offerings to the gods or for good luck. These artifacts include more than twelve thousand Roman coins. The museum also contains a bronze bust of the goddess Sulis Minerva. The geothermally heated water rises here at over two hundred and fifty-seven thousand gallons a day through a fissure. These waters contain high levels of sodium, calcium and sulphates and is considered not safe to bath in. If visitors want to experience Roman baths then they should pay a visit to the Thermae Bath Spa or the Cross Bath, which has been recently restored.
Another popular attraction in the city of Bath is the Royal Crescent. The Royal Crescent is a road that contains over thirty houses which are laid out in the shape of a crescent. These houses were built in the eighteenth century and designed by John Wood the Younger. The Royal Crescent is a beautiful example of Georgian architecture. Some very notable people have stayed in these houses over the past two centuries. The most prominent of these include Thomas Brock, Princesse de Lamballe, Prince Frederick, Philip Thicknesse, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Francis Burdett, Admiral William Hargood, Thomas Falconer and George Saintsbury. Today, the Royal Cresent contains a museum, a hotel and there are plans currently underway to develop flats here. The Circus is another fine example of classic Georgian architecture in the city of Bath. This structure was built in 1768 and is listed as a Grade I building. It was designed by architect John Wood the Elder and consists of three segments surrounded by townhouses. The inspiration for the design of The Circus was derived from the Roman Colosseum. This building incorporates Corinthian, Greek Doric and Roman Composite styles in a seamless architectural style.
Royal Victoria Park is another attraction in the city of Bath that shouldn’t be overlooked on your visit. It was opened in the nineteenth century by Princess Victoria, who was eleven years old at the time. This was the first botanical garden and park to bear her name and there is a monument inside the park that is dedicated to her. Royal Victoria Park sits on fifty-seven acres and has a wide assortment of attractions. Inside, visitors can find tennis courts, skateboard ramps, a pond, a putting green and a nine acre botanical garden. The Victoria Art Gallery is another popular attraction in the city. The building was designed by John McKean Brydon in 1897. The outside of the building features a statue of Queen Victoria and inside the museum are over fifteen hundred works of art by artists such as Thomas Jones Barker, Thomas Gainsborough, Edwin Long, P J de Loutherbourg, John Nash, Johann Zoffany, Thomas Lawrence and Thomas Malton. Exhibitions are always changing so there is always something new to see. Past exhibitions have included Bath Railway posters, Kurt Jackson: River Avon, In Colour: John Eaves, Ancient Landscapes, Comic Art, Paul Emsley Portrait, Bath as it might have been, Peter Brown: Bath and Beyond, The Blue and White Show and Peter Wells: The Tamil Nadu 27.
Other prominent attractions in the city of Bath include the Assembly Rooms, Cleveland Bridge, Building of Bath Museum, Great Pulteney Street, Jane Austen Centre, Lansdown Crescent, Holburne Museum of Art, Museum of East Asian Art, Beckford’s Tower, Pulteney Bridge, Sally Lunn’s Refreshment House & Museum, Herschel Museum of Astronomy, River Avon, Fashion Museum, Kennet and Avon Canal, Dundas Aqueduct, Solsbury Hill, Claverton Pumping Station and Bath Recreation Grounds.