Bath, United Kingdom
*Canon EOS 40D
**The Roman Baths are a well-preserved Roman sacred site in the English city of Bath. The site includes the remains of the Temple of Aquae Sulis, the Roman baths fed by the sacred hot spring, and a well-presented museum of artifacts found at the site.
The fundamental part of the Roman Baths is the sacred spring. Hot water at a temperature of 460°C rises here at the rate of 1,170,000 liters (240,000 gallons) every day and has been doing so for thousands of years. To the ancients, this remarkable phenomenon could only be the work of the gods.
The first shrine at the springs in Bath was built by the Celts, and dedicated to the goddess Sulis. After the Roman invasion, Sulis was identified with the Roman goddess Minerva, but the name Sulis continued to be used. This led to the town’s ancient Roman name of Aquae Sulis (“waters of Sulis”).
During the Roman occupation of Britain, increasingly grand temples and bathing complexes were built. The bath complex in Bath was founded in 75 AD. The healing powers of the goddess and the mineral-rich water from the spring attracted visitors from across the Roman Empire.
After the Roman withdrawal the baths fell into disrepair and were eventually lost due to silting up. When bathing again became fashionable in England, the site was reopened. The magnificent Georgian building now standing was erected at the end of the 18th century.
The ancient Roman Baths were rediscovered and excavated in the late 18th century. As well as being an important archaeological find, they have from that time to the present been one of the city’s main attractions.
*excerpted from the website Sacred Destinations