Roman Baths – Get Soaked in the Sacred WatersSacred Waters | April 26, 2010
Well maintained in the English city of Bath, the Roman Baths comprise of the remainders of the Temple of Aquae Sulis, Roman baths lying underneath the lane level of the modern city and filled due to the holy hot spring, and an attractive museum of relics. Among all these parts, the main attraction is the sacred spring whose waters of 460 degree Celsius increases by 1,170,000 liters daily since its origin, which is marked as the phenomenon of the gods.
Built by the Celts, originally, the shrine next to the springs was dedicated to the goddess Sulis who was considered to be the Roman Goddess Minerva following the Roman raid.
Continued with the name of Sulis, the ancient town was also named as Aquae Sulis (waters of Sulis) along with the shrine. Even today, the bath complex is known for the goddess’ miraculous powers of curing and the mineral-rich spring waters.
The entire complex was rediscovered in the 18th century and the current stunning Georgian building was built around this time.
Please note that the Roman Baths are perilous for bathing, as its waters have been through the activate Roman lead pipes. You can still experience the waters in the lavishly built Thermae Spa opened in 2004.
- The Sacred Spring:
Located at the northwest end of the baths, this spring provides water to the 12th century pool called the King’s Bath enclosed by the Georgian building. Alternatively, look out for a sip of the hot mineral spring water located in the fountain of the Pump Room, which tastes amazing and is said to have the healing powers.
- The Temple of Sulis Minerva:
This is a classical temple wherein a statue of the goddess Sulis Minerva was sited. Now, its gilded bronze head is kept in the museum.
- The Gorgon:
From the temple, a decorated pediment has been rebuilt that holds a picture of a face with beard made from stone, known as the Gorgon’s head. This represents the Goddess Minerva that also looks like the other water gods – Oceanus and Neptune. The overall look is that of the sun that might symbolize the high temperature in the sacred spring. Surrounded by the garland of leaves and grouped victories, the owl and the helmet located at the base represent the goddess’ liability for knowledge and battle.
- The Roman Baths Museum:
Here, you will come across a myriad of interesting items such as the offerings involving hundreds of objects cast into the spring for the goddess. These objects are:
- More than 12,000 Roman coins forming the largest accumulation from Britain,
- Curses holding messages on the rolled up sheets made up of lead or pewter seeming like sending them to the spirit of the goddess residing in the spring, and
- Metal pans known as paterae holding the literally ‘DSM’ – ‘Deae Sulis Minerva’, which must have played an important role in making the offerings to the goddess.
Timings and Cost
- Mar-Jun, Sep, Oct: 9 am – 6 pm
- Jul-Aug: 9 am – 10 pm
- Nov-Feb: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
- Last admission before 1 hour of closing
Cost is £9 along with the audio guide and £12 including Museum of Costume and Assembly Rooms whose validity is seven days.