- Thermae Bath Spa
The main spa has two natural thermal baths, a rooftop pool and an indoor pool, a large steam room elegantly glass-partitioned into four circular zones, and
body treatment facilities. Most of the facilities are in a modern building designed by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, with the older Cross Bath in a separate building.
One of the city's main attractions has long been its famous hot spa water, fed by the area's
hot springs. The Bath springs are the only hot springs found in the UK. These natural geothermal springs fed into the Roman Baths complex, which was responsible for the prominence of Bath in the Roman period, as well as for the later development of Bath as the country's leading eighteenth and early nineteenth century health resort. In the middle of the 20th century, the city's swimming pool sourced its water directly from the King's Spring through one of three pipelines beneath the River Avon. However, the old municipal hot pools were closed in 1978 after the discovery of an infectious organism in one stratum of the aquifer. After that date, bathing was prohibited. [cite web |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A3023074 |title=The City of Bath, Somerset, UK |accessdate=2007-11-01 |format= |work=H2G2 ] [cite journal |last=Kilvington |first=Simon |authorlink= |coauthors=John Beeching |year=1995 |month=June |title=Identification and Epidemiological Typing of Naegleria fowleri with DNA Probes |journal=Applied and Environmental Microbiology |volume=61 |issue=6 |pages=2071–2078 |id= |url=http://aem.asm.org/cgi/reprint/61/6/2071.pdf |accessdate= 2007-10-31 |quote= ]
With the approach of the
Millennium, money from the National Lottery-funded Millennium Commissionwas made available towards a major project to reopen a safe commercial spa once more, supplemented by funds from subscribersand from the local authority.
Originally planned to open in 2002, and despite a
formalopening with the aid of the " Three Tenors" in 2003, the project ran seriously behind schedule and over budget as a result of a variety of legaldisputes with contractors: the project's budgeted costs spiralled from an estimated £13 million in September 1996 to a final cost of £45 million. [cite web | url= http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/5230322.stm | work = BBC News| title= Timeline: Spa saga highs and lows | date= 31 July 2006| accessdate= 2007-11-20]
Many Bath residents blamed the spa for an increase of
council tax. [cite web | url= http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/5225872.stm | work = BBC News| title= The city that got its soul back | date= 31 July 2006| accessdate= 2007-11-20]
Thermae Bath Spaeventually opened to the public on 7 August 2006, ending a 28-year period during which the waters remained unavailable for bathing.
The spa is largely sited in a new 'Glass Cube' building by Sir
Nicholas Grimshaw, near the site of the ancient Royal Bath, which has been interlinked with historic Georgian spa buildings such as the nearby Hot and Cross Baths. The building is in a strongly contemporary style in contrast to its Georgian surroundings. The complex houses both traditional and modern spa facilities.
* [http://www.thermaebathspa.com/ Thermae Bath Spa]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/somerset/content/image_galleries/bath_spa_project_gallery.shtml Photo tour]
* [http://press.thermaebathspa.com/library/content.php Image Library]
* [http://www.spalinks.com/historical_health_spa_reopens_to_the_world/news/32/ Spalinks Article on Thermae Bath Spa]
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