BATH. THE BEAUTY ON AVON

One of the most beautiful cities we visited in England was Bath. I cannot resist to write a little about the loads of city’s attractions, but, if you don’t feel like reading, proceed to picture gallery instead. Although, when you’ll finish watching photos, you’ll want to go to Bath straight away… ok, if not straight away then you at least will start planning your next holiday trip to Bath.  And then you’ll have to read anyway 🙂

Bath is situated 97 miles (156 km) west of London and 13 miles (21 km) south-east of Bristol. The city was first established as a spa with the Latin name, Aquae Sulis (“the waters of Sulis”) by the Romans sometime in the AD 60s about 20 years after they had arrived in Britain (AD43), although oral tradition suggests that Bath was known before then. They built baths and a temple on the surrounding hills of Bath in the valley of the River Avon around hot springs, which are the only natural hot springs in Britain. Edgar was crowned king of England at Bath Abbey in 973. Much later, it became popular as a spa town during the Georgian era, which led to a major expansion that left a heritage of exemplary Georgian architecture crafted from Bath Stone.

The City of Bath was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1987. The city has a variety of theatres, museums, and other cultural and sporting venues, which have helped to make it a major centre for tourism, City’s visitors have a lot to see. Bath is a city with deep historic and cultural traditions.

Today, Bath has two universities and five theatres – Bath Theatre RoyalUstinov Studiothe egg, the Rondo Theatre, and the Mission Theatre – and attracts internationally renowned companies and directors, including an annual season by Sir Peter Hall. The city also has a long-standing musical tradition; Bath Abbey is home to the Klais Organ and is the largest concert venue in the city,with about 20 concerts and 26 organ recitals each year. Another important concert venue is the Forum, a 1,700-seat art deco building which originated as a cinema. The city holds the Bath International Music Festival and Mozartfest every year. Other festivals include the annual Bath Film FestivalBath Literature Festival (and its counterpart for children), the Bath Fringe Festival and the Bath Beer Festival, and the Bach Festivals which occur at two and a half year intervals. An annual competition for the Bard of Bath aims to find Bath’s best poet, singer or storyteller. The Bard uses the title to develop artistic projects in the area and leads evening bardic walks around the city. The title resurrects an Iron-Age Celtic Druid tradition where Druids were the law-makers, judges and ceremonial leaders, Ovates were mediums, healers and prophets and Bards were poets, musicians and history-keepers. All of them held high status and a place in mystical/religious circles.

The city is home to the Victoria Art Gallery, the Museum of East Asian Art, and Holburne Museum of Art, numerous commercial art galleries and antique shops, as well as numerous museums, among them Bath Postal Museum, the Fashion Museum, the Jane Austen Centre, the Herschel Museum of Astronomyand the Roman Baths.

During the 18th century Thomas Gainsborough and Sir Thomas Lawrence lived and worked in Bath. John Maggs, a painter best known for his coaching scenes, was born and lived in Bath with his artistic family. William Friese-Greene began experimenting with celluloid and motion pictures in his studio in Bath in the 1870s, developing some of the earliest movie camera technology there. He is credited as the inventor of cinematography.

Jane Austen lived in the city from 1801 with her father, mother and sister Cassandra, and the family resided in the city at four successive addresses until 1806. However, Jane Austen never liked the city.

Many films and television programmes have been filmed using the architecture of Bath as the backdrop including: the 2004 film of Thackeray‘s Vanity Fair, and The Duchess (2008).

The most spectacular of Bath’s terraces is the Royal Crescent, built between 1767 and 1774 and designed by the younger John Wood.

Royal Crescent

Royal Crescent

Royal Crescent overlooking Royal Victoria Park

Royal Crescent overlooking Royal Victoria Park

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Bath Abbey

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The 18th-century Pulteney Bridge by Robert Adam

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