City of Bath

United Kingdom

Bath has been a place of healing for over two thousand years. The Roman baths, which were based on the three hot springs, were followed by the monastery infirmary and medieval hospitals. After the reformation of the church in the 16th century, the springs and baths were handed over to the town corporation and from the 18th century the baths were regularly renovated. The General Hospital (1739) offered treatments for the poor, advanced medical techniques and diagnostic medicine.

The corporation promoted Bath as a place of both recreation and healing, thus creating an early form of tourism industry. Bath developed into one of the most modern resorts in Europe, with the entire city being redesigned in a neo-classical architectural style. Terraces, crescents, rondels and squares were laid out with parks and gardens between 1720 and 1790.

Visitor attractions such as promenades, parks and meeting rooms were built. Bath is the deliberate creation of a utopian city, bringing the outdoors into the heart of the urban area. The surrounding countryside is also of exceptional quality, offering visitors physical exercise through walks and horse riding. The city has made a unique and special contribution to education by supplying theories and developments in natural philosophy and emerging science. It contributed to the dissemination of ideas of the Enlightenment and is a testimony to an essential contribution to medical theory and practice. The authentic historic structure, as well as a continued cultural tradition of well-being, live on still today. Bath remains a thriving, beautiful and elegant spa town.