Ancient waters, modern spa

Apr 21 2014, 20:55 IST
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The tradition of bathing in the thermal waters of UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath goes back to thousands of years. The tradition of bathing in the thermal waters of UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath goes back to thousands of years.
SummaryThermae Bath Spa attracts a staggering number of 250,000 visitors every year from across the world

The tradition of bathing in the thermal waters of UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath goes back to thousands of years. It is the only place in UK that has naturally hot waters coming out of the ground. The water was worshiped by people living in the area about 8000 years ago. Then the Romans arrived in Britain in first century AD, they built a bathing complex which is now known as the Roman Baths and a temple to goddess Minerva. When the Romans left Britain, the bathing halls and temples collapsed and the city was flooded by the river. Subsequent centuries saw people build on top of the buried Roman remains. It was not rediscovered till the Victorian era, the 19th century. During the 18th century Bath became very popular for its spa because the hot water kept coming up through the ground. “Instead of being a little market town, once the British royalty started arriving in bath to take the water, they rebuilt the city. They knocked down all the little houses and built the splendid architecture that you see today,” states Charlotte Hanna, assistant sales & marketing manager, Thermae Bath Spa.

Thermae Bath Spa is a combination of modern spa and historic buildings. It occupies one big modern structure and four historic buildings. All the pools like Minerva Bath and Hot Bath are all filled with natural thermal water, which have many minerals. Giving an interesting insight into the bathing culture of those times Hanna says, “The Hot Bath was built in the 1770s. This pool in the 18th century was built specifically for the wealthy people. Ladies would have worn long dress which had lead weights on the bottom of it so that the dress stayed down and did not float up , so they remained decent in water. The pool is only 1.35 metres in height and as the ladies could not swim so they would walk in the water, and were served tea from India or China or hot chocolate from the New World. All this was supposed to be the height of high fashion in those times.”

One of the highlights of the spa is the roof top pool and jacuzzi which gives spectacular views of the historic city. The water in the pool is 33 to 35 degrees centigrade. “It comes out of the ground at 46 degrees,

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