Saturday, May 7, 2022—Part 1, Cardiff and Bath

Before leaving Wales, the tour took us on a panoramic drive around Cardiff, and then a brief walk to see the principal areas and buildings. We then traveled back into England to Bath.

Bath is the largest city in the county of Somerset, in the valley of the River Avon; it is best known for its Roman-built baths.

About 60 AD the Romans built baths and a temple at this ancient spot. However, the hot springs were known well before the Romans and were a sacred site for the local Celts.The Romans constructed a temple in AD 60–70, and a bathing complex was built up over the next 300 years. Roman engineers drove oak piles into the mud to provide stable foundations and surrounded the spring with an irregular stone chamber lined with lead. In the 2nd century, the spring was enclosed within a wooden barrel-vaulted structure. The Baths consisted of the caldarium (hot bath), tepidarium (warm bath), and frigidarium (cold bath). The town was later given defensive walls in the 3rd century. After the retreat of Roman authority in the first decade of the 5th century, the baths fell into disrepair. The baths were eventually lost as a result of rising water levels and silting, but were eventually rediscovered and modified on several occasions. In the 17th century, claims were again made for the curative properties of water from the springs, and Bath became famous as a spa town in the Georgian era. Georgian architecture, crafted from Bath stone, together with modern streets and squares laid out in the 18th century, made the city fashionable and attracted a growing population and wealth, and today the springs are housed in 18th-century architecture. Victorian expansion of the baths complex followed the neo-classical tradition. Victorian visitors drank the waters in the Grand Pump Room, a neo-classical salon which remains in use, both for taking the waters and for social functions.

With the arrival of Christianity, Bath Abbey was founded in the 7th century and became a religious center. England was widespread in support of Ukraine, and many buildings and residences maintained the Ukraine flag. The day we visited Bath Abbey, a college graduation was taking place, and people in England dress ups for graduation, i.e. coat and tie.

UNESCO added the City of Bath as a World Heritage site in 1987.

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