Jul 26, 2015

Bath spa | England

Wow. It's been 3 years since I last wrote on this blog. Unfortunately the Greek crisis brought my life upside down so I couldn't devote any time on my post cards. Now, 3 years later, I am leaving in another country and my life is almost normal again. So I can do what I love most: travel!
I went to the amazing city of Bath. Bath is a city in Somerset, South West England, that is known for the curative Roman-built baths that still exist there. In 2011, its population was 88,859. It became part of Avon in 1974; since Avon's abolition in 1996, it has been the principal centre of Bath and North East Somerset. The city, in the valley of the River Avon, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
 
The city became a spa with the Latin name Aquae Sulis ("the waters of Sulis") c. AD 60 when the Romans built baths and a temple in the valley of the River Avon, although oral tradition suggests that the hot springs were known before then.
Bath Abbey was founded in the 7th century becoming a religious centre and the building was rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries. In the 17th century claims were made for the curative properties of the water from the springs and Bath became popular as a spa town during the Georgian era, leaving a heritage of Georgian architecture crafted from Bath stone, including the Royal Crescent, Circus, Pump Room and Assembly Rooms where Beau Nash presided over the city's social life from 1705 until his death in 1761. Many of the streets and squares were laid out by John Wood, the Elder and in the 18th century the city became fashionable and the population grew. Jane Austen lived in Bath in the early 19th century. Further building was undertaken in the 19th century and following the Bath Blitz in World War II.

Manufacturing has been in decline in the city, but it has strong software, publishing and service-oriented industries. The city's theatres, museums and other cultural and sporting venues have helped to make it a major centre for tourism with more than one million staying visitors and 3.8 million day visitors to the city each year. There are several museums including the Museum of Bath Architecture, Victoria Art Gallery, Museum of East Asian Art, and the Holburne Museum. The city has two universities; the University of Bath and Bath Spa University with Bath College providing further education. Sporting clubs include Bath Rugby and Bath City F.C. while TeamBath is the umbrella name for all of the University of Bath sports teams.
 
Pulteney Bridge was completed by 1774, and connected the city with the newly built Georgian town of Bathwick. Designed by Robert Adam in a Palladian style, it is exceptional in having shops built across its full span on both sides. It has been designated as a Grade I listed building.

Within 20 years of its construction, alterations were made that expanded the shops and changed the façades. By the end of the 18th century it had been damaged by floods, but it was rebuilt to a similar design. Over the next century alterations to the shops included cantilevered extensions on the bridge's north and south faces. In the 20th century several schemes were carried out to preserve the bridge and partially return it to its original appearance, enhancing its appeal as a tourist attraction.

The bridge is now 45 metres (148 ft) long and 18 metres (58 ft) wide. Although there have been plans to pedestrianise the bridge, it is still used by buses and taxis. The much photographed bridge and the weir below are close to the centre of the city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site largely because of its Georgian architecture. [wikipedia]


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