We have just had our third born granddaughter staying for a few days. School days are firmly behind her as she anticipates her next journey which takes her to Edinburgh University in the Autumn.
One of the places we took her to was the city of Bath, which makes an interesting juxtaposition with our recent visit to Lecce in Italy. Both cities were built of honey coloured limestone - Bath's architecture being a glorious Georgian masterpiece as opposed to Lecce's bountiful feast of Baroque.
The Circus was designed in 1754 by architect John Wood shortly before he died, but his work continued and was carried on by his son, John Wood jnr.
As the name implies the buildings form a perfect circle with a grassy central island filled with large 300 year old trees
13 years later John Wood jnr designed The impressive Royal Crescent which enjoys an open aspect to the front taking in far reaching views across the city
Leaving the Royal Crescent behind there are many other impressive streets still to explore
It pays to look carefully at the original ironwork - above can be seen a boot scrapper, and a torch extinquisher.
There was no street lighting in Georgian Britain, but the rich would have their dark nights lit by flaming torches. These were carried by a 'link boy' running besides them as they were conveyed home in a sedan chair following a night out at the opera or theatre
Cross over Pulteney Bridge, built in 1774 - designed by Neoclassic/Palladian Architect, Robert Adams.
There you can catch a boat or walk along the Avon's riverbank
On the bridge you may enjoy sampling a delicious homemade cake in the tiny river view cafe, or visiting some of the little shops filled with interesting curios.
Jane Austen knew Bath as a thriving spa resort which in her day was extremely popular with fashionable society. Afternoon high tea would be taken in the elegant Pump Room with its glass chandeliers, perhaps followed by a musical soiree in the evening. There they would also imbibe a glass of spa water, which contains 43 different minerals, supposedly thought of as a cure-all for many ailments.Finally end your visit to the Roman baths with a glass of health giving Spa Water, which is free, and tastes unbelievable.
Take an extensive tour of the Roman Baths - one of the most historic sites from antiquity in northern Europe - the young people in this photo are not using mobile phones but they are listening to the included audioguides about the Romans, their life and their history.
Bath Abbey - the last of the great cathedrals built during the medieval period
The West Front is a 'tour de force' of carved stonework showing Jacob's Dream with a statue of an omnipresent God in a central position watching overall
The Abbey is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul - each saint oversees the top of a ladder
Worldwide there are countless artworks depicting Jacob's Dream - paintings, frescoes, prints, stained glass windows, but this is by far the largest
"Jacob had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, its top reaching to heaven, with the angels of God ascending and descending on it".
To see and admire this impressive stone sculpture carved over 500 years ago, I feel immense gratitude to those of our ancestors who left behind so many fine legacies for us all to appreciate and enjoy today.
Oh, those angels going up and down the ladder - how charming they look, on a beautiful cathedral. Bath is somewhere I have actually visited, and your photos bring back some memories of our couple of days there in 2004. I enjoyed the Roman baths too, and marvel at the preservation of so many ancient constructions. The fish fountain is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for showing it all, Rosemary, and best wishes to your granddaughter.ReplyDelete
I am so pleased that you already know Bath Patricia - it is very near to where I live.Delete
You made such beautiful photo's of Bath. Brought back nice memories!ReplyDelete
Thank you - glad that this post brought back good memories for you.Delete
Dear Rosemary, When you write that the "water" tastes unbelievable I think I know what you mean.ReplyDelete
Your photos have a way of placing the viewer into the scene. Beautifully done Rosemary, as always.
Dear Gina - Spa water tends to taste sulphuric, rather like bad eggs, as I am sure you know.Delete
Thanks for your kind comment too Gina, which is much appreciated.
What a beautiful city! I found the information about the original iron work very interesting. How wonderful, a torch extinguisher! That bridge is just magnificent! Bath Abbey is a treasure!ReplyDelete
I suppose I shouldn't find it surprising to have found at least four people on their phones around the Roman Baths in your photo. I am so sick of seeing it everywhere I go. No one can even walk their dog in my neighborhood without one.
Wishing your grand daughter the very best as she heads off to Edinburgh University soon.
Dear Catherine - I must admit that it does look as if the young people are on their mobile phones, but actually they are listening to the included audioguide to the Roman Baths. There is also a colourful addition within the audioguides done by Bill Bryson. He gives his own witty, incisive thoughts, and also his observations on Roman life, their history, and their society.Delete
What a relief! I am so glad to hear it. I felt rather sad thinking people would be more interested in what was happening on Facebook. hahaDelete
A few years ago we spent an afternoon in Bath -- far too short a time to see all the wonderful things in your post. But we DID tour the Roman baths and have lunch in the Pump Room. We passed on drinking the Spa Water because tasting "unbelievable" is not the same as tasting good, LOL!ReplyDelete
You will never know what you missed by not drinking the water Debra.Delete
We've been to Bath several times and see something different each time. Have never seen the torch extinguisher before, how interesting. One of my favorite British towns.ReplyDelete
Next time you visit I am sure you will find one now you know just what they are and what they look like.Delete
Tom and I were through Bath on our honeymoon 31 yrs ago and saw many of these things., although we didn't appreciate all of the details that you have brought to my attention. I have never seen a torch extinguisher, and I certainly missed those interesting angels.ReplyDelete
I don't think that you are alone Janey - most people tend to look at eye level and then take in a general upwards view. The lady I sat next to outside the Abbey hadn't noticed them even though they were immediately in front of her. She was grateful when I pointed them out to her.Delete
Hello Rosemary, How beautiful Bath is! Almost every 18th century novel I have read has a scene set there, usually featuring its "Master of Ceremonies," Beau Nash.ReplyDelete
Hello Jim - I should have gone inside Bath Abbey and taken a photo of his memorial tablet - next time I will remember.Delete
Fantastic photos! Can you imagine when this was new and in its heyday?ReplyDelete
Thank you for visiting Sandi - there would have been lots of elegantly dressed people - ladies in long silk dresses wearing fine hats, and people being driven in horses and carriages.Delete
These wonderful photos really capture the magnificence of Bath Rosemary. When I visited a few years ago I loved everything so much and couldn't believe I'd never visited before.ReplyDelete
I should really visit more often Mary as it is only a 40 mins drive from home, and there are so many interesting and unusual shops there too.Delete
The Circus and the Royal Crescent are magnificent examples of architecture. The Romans would be pleased to see this place that they enjoyed being preserved today. I'm also very thankful for the builders of the past, and for those who preserve such art today. But it makes me wonder what we, in our modern, hasty world, are creating that will stand the test of time.ReplyDelete
Exactly my thoughts too LorrieDelete
I love Bath, Rosemary, but not been for ages, and you have captured it on camera beautifully. I love Bath Abbey, such a glorious building right in the heart of the city. Thank you yet again for your wonderful photos.ReplyDelete
I love visiting Bath too Margaret, there is always something new to discover there.Delete
Beautiful photos describing a majestic city !ReplyDelete
I enjoyed the fact that it is similar to Lecce from the point of view of them both being built of similar stone, but that they are both so different from each other, but both, as you mention, majestic.Delete
What a palace... gorgeous ! And all these details are wonderful and beautiful.ReplyDelete
And your photos are again great.
Thanks Orvokki - your comments are always so generous.Delete
I enjoyed looking at your photographs of Bath. My cultural appreciation was overtaken though, by looking at the young woman in the foreground and thinking-I once had legs like that. Sigh.ReplyDelete
Hope all is well with you now Susan - I have been thinking about you.Delete
Yes, sadly these things happen to us all over time.
Hello, Rosemary! I came to know Bath on the English textbook of junior high school for the first time. I recall I felt strange, before reading, why the name of the city is the place where we bathe ourselves. As you might know I’m partial to reflecting images, I was attracted by the 3rd and 14th images most. I like the distorted reflection on the handmade glasses. The color tone of the architectures made of limestone made me feel relaxed. The sculptures on the walls are intriguing, especially I’m interested in the four on the ladder (#21,22,23,24) but I have no idea about the Biblical meaning of them. Thank you for this wonderful photo tour.ReplyDelete
Hello Yoko - Jacob's Dream is a passage from the Old Testament - I believe that the angels depicted on the ladder are very beautifully composed and sculptured, and reveal the great skills of the medieval stone masons.Delete
A lovely tour, Rosemary, beautifully photographed as usual. I haven't been to Bath for many years; it has been on the list for a revisit for ages, but we haven't quite got there yet! I still remember seeing the baths for the first time, as a young boy, and being amazed.ReplyDelete
I am sure that you would enjoy getting reacquainted with Bath again Mike - should you go it is well worth using the Park and Ride facilities as the parking in and around Bath is terrible.Delete
Wonderful to see your beautiful views of Bath! It is a beautiful place. Love the torch extinguisher, I have never seen or head of such a thing before!ReplyDelete
There are a few torch extinguishers around still if you know what you are looking for.Delete
Always wanted to visit Bath properly to explore it on foot but the most I managed was a quick drive through visiting the Mendips, Bristol and the Forest of Dean instead as I had other passengers in the car each time with different propositions on where we should go. Always the drawback in a group. Nice photos.ReplyDelete
Bath is a lovely city Bob - hope you will find an opportunity to visit and see for yourself one day.Delete
I can see why Bath is a Unesco World Heritage City and it looks like an amazing place to visit.
We travelled through Bath on our way down to Dartmouth in 2007, by train and it looked wonderful. Thank you for taking us on a tour and sharing your lovely photos.
Enjoy your weekend
Dear Carolyn - it is interesting that you have had a tantalising glimpse of Bath as the train passed through in 2007 - it is a lovely city and well worth visiting if ever another opportunity arises.Delete
It was lovely to have this tour of Bath with you. It is a long time since we have visited there and your post illustrates that you need to stop and look around to see all it's treasures. Sarah xReplyDelete