The City of Bath in South West England was founded by the Romans in the first century AD by the hot spring there, later to become a thermal bath and temple, now the city’s main attraction – the Roman Baths.
In the 18th century urban Bath underwent a total renewal set in motion by architects who’s vision it was to create one of the most beautiful cities in England – and Europe – a place where architecture and landscape blend harmoniously. The dominant building style in Bath is usually referred to as Georgian after the kings that ruled back then. This neoclassical architectural style typically consist of modernized elements largely inspired by the classic Greek monuments. The golden limestone buildings, many of which were inspired by the renown Italian architect Palladio give Bath a stylistically uniform and rather elegant look and feel, picturesquely situated in a pleasant garden-landscape by the River Avon.
Next to the Roman Bath stands the Abbey Church, an English Gothic-style cathedral alone worth a visit to Bath. Not to be missed are also the grandiose Royal Crescent and the Circus residential complexes, the Ponte Vecchio-inspired Pultney Bridge, a stroll in the park or a boat trip on the river, and perhaps an evening at the spa.
World Heritage City
The City of Bath was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1987 for being an outstanding example of human creative genius expressed through architecture, town-planning, urban and landscape design.
The Pultney Bridge was apparently built after a discarded design by Palladio for the Rialto Brigde in Venice. Anyone who has ever visited Florence will immediately recognize the striking similarity with Ponte Vecchio over River Arno. And here as on Ponte Vecchio, there are shops on both sides of the street.
All photos by Asgeir Pedersen, IN Editions
This article was first published 3 July 2015.