In the South West England, there is a town that is too pretty for words.  It was founded in the 1st century AD by the Romans as a thermal spa (Aquae Sulis) and thus renamed Bath.

It’s current form started in the 18th century, under  in King George III.  We must give thanks  to the hard and inspired minds of  John Woods the elder (1704-1754) and the younger (1728-1782), and their interpretation of Andrea Palladio’s (1508-1580) concept of picturesque aestheticism.  We now see the seamless integration of the The Roman Baths and temple complex,  the remains of the city of Aquae Sulis, and the more modern English City.

Other architects and visionaries responsible for overall city landscape were Robert Adam , Thomas Baldwin  and John Palmer.

Palladian Bridge at Prior Park – photo © VT Professor
header photo – Royal Crescent © Christina West)
The Pulteney Bridge, Avon River

This Palladian bridge in the Prior Park Landscape Garden was built in 1755, and it is  one of only four in the world. is set into a sweeping valley with magnificent views of the city of Bath.

The circus – photo© Adrian Sparrow)

From ‘Obsession: John Wood and the Creation of Georgian Bath’, 2004, pp95-98).

The (originally ‘Kings’) Circus (South Eastern Section – c1762-6) bathed in the late October sun of 2007, one of the best autums I can remember. As ever, the play of light across the beautiful Bath stone allows this shot to become magical! (Best viewed large size.)It has been pointed out that the Circus was originally devoid of any plants or grass, being a circle of cobbles, since Wood intended the link to nature to be a direct one-to-one relationship between the architecture and its symbolism and the open skies above – ‘a dramatic and theatrical space where the architecture took centre stage’. Wood believed that there had always existed a temple to the Sun and Moon on Lansdown hill and the Circus was to be his recreation of a temple of the Sun, with the Royal Cresent the reborn temple of the crescent moon! As such the Circus is the same internal diameter (318′) as Stone Henge, itself an ancient temple of the sun.

The Circus – photo © Robert C
The Circus – photo © Andy Clist
The Circus – photo © Andy Clist
Temple of Sulis Minerva Roman Baths – photo © Andrew Cameron

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