Bath baths

The main attraction of Bath is the Roman Baths complex which is very well preserved. The baths were dedicated to Minerva Sulis, the Romans having appropriated the Celtic goddess Sulis for their own Minerva. According to St Augustine, the pagan gods were both demons anyway so it is a pity that Minerva wasn't eventually replaced with our Blessed Lady as in so many places in Italy. Perhaps one day...

(Click on any of the photographs in these posts for a larger picture.)

Above the Great Bath, at the end of the 18th century, the King's Terrace was built. It is just above street level.

The overflow arch, pictured below, was part of the system for controlling the spring and the baths. The spring gushes about 240,000 gallons a day at a temperature of 46 degrees centigrade. It apparently contains 47 different minerals.

The Bath complex had the full range of bathing facilities. The Great Bath was fed by the spring and so was fairly warm. After that, you could plunge into the circular frigidarium for a bracing cold dip.

The hypocaust, pictured below, provided under-floor heating for various rooms much like our modern saunas and steam baths. The Romans were more modest than the modern health club, though, in that men and women had separate facilities.

Below is an monument to the goddess (i.e. demon) Sulis, given by a haruspex. They were responsible for reading the entrails of sacrificed animals. I sometimes point out to people how, in addition to all the graces they give us, in the providence of God, the Mass and the sacraments are so much more pleasant for us as rituals.

Before you leave the baths, you are invited to participate in the worship of the demons by a notice requesting money for further archeological research.

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