Sunday, 4 September 2011

Aquae Sulis, Bath

My visit to the Roman Baths ...
I took nearly 200 photos here - it really is spectacular, but the pictures were not a real representation of what I saw there - it's a place that must be visited and experienced to get the full picture.
Here are the ones that tell a little of the story ...
 Aquae Sulis - the city now known as Bath was founded by the ancient Celts (who worshiped Sul, the goddess of the spring) on the site of the only hot springs in England. When the Romans conquered England they established a bath and temple complex around the spring and named it Aquae Sulis.
 The model shows that the bath was originally roofed over
 The complex housed the temple and alter (in the courtyard) and was rather like a leisure centre for the townsfolk
 The Romans loved bright colours - the remnants found of the temple's arch (in the picture above) have been displayed how it may have looked all that time ago
 Mosaics also found here
 Pictures are projected onto the walls to bring history to life ...
 ... describes the above projection
 If someone had a complaint they would ask a scribe to write on a thin lead sheet a curse and throw it into the Sacred Spring
 click to enlarge to read some of the complaints and curses
 The way the exhibits are shown and brought to life are excellent
 A glimpse of the hot bath
 I could hardly believe that I was walking on the same pavements that ordinary people walked on over 2000 years ago ...
 ... and could see what they had seen
 A Roman Lady
 Bath Abbey towers over the baths
 The cold plunge pool ...
 ... with interesting projections onto the wall!
 You can see from the dark water mark that the water level was increased at some point in time
 If only the walls could talk
 The Hypocaust ...

 ... and how it was operated and would have looked on the floors above
Out again into sunny Bath - I could have spent longer than the 2-hours that I did in the Roman Baths - it was absolutely fascinating - especially the fact that you could touch the original pillars and walls and walk on the same floor that they did - marvellous indeed!
We went up Bath Locks this morning (Sunday), the pounds (water between the locks) were so low that on 3 occasions in the pound above deep lock (19'9") I was grounded on the bottom and George had to let water down from the locks above - it took us 2-hours to rise in the 5 locks sharing them with a 'Sally Narrowboat' and its stag weekenders! 
We are now recovering on the 72-hour moorings above the locks and will move on tomorrow.

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