The city of Bath is many things. It is one of the oldest and most celebrated cities in all of England as well as the most significant town in the county of Somerset. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the face of the planet and it boasts some of the most incredible architecture known to man. Bath is a World Heritage Site which essentially means that it is an indispensable part of the fabric of our culture and offers some of the most prestigious museums and art houses on the face of the Earth. Bath truly is meaningful to a vast amount of people for a vast amount of reasons and yet it still maintains its identity with ease and poise.
Like many tourist cities in England, Bath arose as a spa destination for upper class members of the aristocracy to visit and refresh their minds and bodies with the finest therapeutic materials known. What sets Bath apart from these other cities, however, is that most spa towns rose to prominence in the 1700s and 1800s. Bath, on the other hand, was a well-established spa town in the days of the Roman Empire! The history of Bath as a healing destination goes as far back as 43 A.D. and maybe even further. It is little wonder that Bath started out so early on its road to prominence. After all, the famed River Avon is practically within spitting distance of the city and various hot springs can be found all around that actually deliver on their promise of soothing relief. Naturally, the reign of King George brought Bath into greater popularity and the city quickly sprang up into a thriving resort and tourist town virtually overnight.
A city this beautiful would typically have only the finest and most revered history that is free of bloodshed and strife but Bath is a bit of an anomaly in this case. Many historians believe that Bath was in fact the site of one of the bloodiest battles in the early history of England. It is thought that the city was the site of the fight between King Arthur and the Saxons. Whether or not this is true it is generally agreed upon that Bath was a place King Arthur visited and marveled at which is only one of the many reasons for the city's reception of the World Heritage Site honor. The city was also the site of the famed Battle of Lansdowne during the English Civil war and, despite the horrific fighting that went on, it was during this time that people from all over began to hear about Bath's spa capabilities.
It is curious and fascinating that a city well known for its healing properties was also often the home of death and dismemberment. This is par for the course for Bath, however. The city seems positively magnetized to history in both its splendor and its depravity and it is as if Bath was destined to be a part of the annals of humanity for any and every reason. A visit to Bath may not heal your wounds but it will definitely enlighten your soul and mind.
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