Tucked away 97 miles west of London lies one of the United Kingdom’s most prized historical sites from her time as a territory of the Great Roman Empire. The Roman Baths of Bath, Somerset constructed somewhere around 60 to 70 AD not only display the extravagance of Roman architecture, but the ingenuity and genius of the architects themselves. I had the extraordinary chance to visit this historic site in July of 2006. Although its been stripped of much of its elaborate Roman decor over the ages and at times modified, this ancient site still possesses much charm.
Public bathing was common in Roman times and even the baths themselves were heated using geothermal energy and a system called a “hypocaust”, which means “heat from below” in latin. The hypocaust functioned sort of like a furnace, where a constant fire was kept in order to keep rooms and water for the baths hot. The water from the baths themselves is very much green today and its color probably doesn’t appeal much to the common observer’s eyes. The site also has a museum, where many of the artifacts and statues are now displayed. Here’s a picture I took of the great Gorgon’s head that is now display in the site’s museum:
One of the most visibly stimulating features of the old complex are the ancient Roman statues than stand today on an upper level surrounding the great bath. In some way, they appear as to look solemnly straight across at one another, standing still but strong as a reminder of humanities’ past.