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Bath Town Guide
|The history of Bath is inextricably linked to the hot springs that rise from the earth here at a constant temperature of 46.5 º Celsius. |
The Celts were the first people to settle in the area, and they built several temples to their goddess of water, Sulis, on the site.
However the first proper city to be built here was first founded by the Romans who were also attracted to the area because of the natural supply of hot water.
They built a series of Baths around the springs and a town quickly grew up around them - which they called Aquae Sulis after the Celtic Goddess.
These Roman Baths can still be seen today, and are considered by many to be one of the best preserved examples of Roman architecture in Britain.
After the Romans left the baths fell into decline, but under the Saxons the city had continued importance as a political and religious centre.
For the next few centuries Bath was most renowned for its magnificent Abbey, and it was here that Edgar, the first King of England, was crowned in the 10th century.
In the Middle Ages Bath began to prosper from the wool trade and it quickly became a thriving market town.
Then, during the renaissance of the 16th century, a new complex of baths was built and the city became a fashionable spa town frequented by royalty and high society.
However it was during the 18th century that Bath reached its height of popularity as a spa, and it is this period that Bath is synonymous with.
This is because in the 18th century the popular belief that spring waters had medicinal benefits led to a renewed fashion for spa towns - and of these Bath was the most popular.
Elegant Georgian town houses sprung up all over the place and the rich and famous in English high society all flocked to the town.
It is this Georgian architecture that Bath is now most famous for and stringent planning regulations have ensured that Bath has remained one of the most beautiful cities in the whole of the UK.
The most famous examples of Bath's Georgian architecture include The Circus, Queen Square and of course Royal Crescent.
In 1988 Bath achieved the highest accolade when it was awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO, which means that it is a "site of outstanding historical importance".
With its warm and distinctive yellow stone, elegant streets and open squares it is an absolute must for any visitor to the UK.
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