Great Spas

UNESCO nomination



Bad Ems

Bad Kissingen


Baden bei Wien

City of Bath

Františkovy Lázně

Karlovy Vary

Mariánské Lázně

Montecatini Terme




General Information

Criteria II

Criteria III

Criteria IV

Criteria VI

Nomination documents


City of Bath

Welcome to City of Bath

Bath has been a place of healing for over two thousand years. The Roman Baths, drawing upon the three Hot Springs, were followed by the monastic infirmary and medieval hospitals. After the 16th Century Reformation of the Church, the springs and baths were handed to the City Corporation, and from the 18th Century the baths were periodically renewed. The General Hospital (1739) provided treatment for the poor and advanced medical practices and diagnostic medicine.

The Corporation promoted Bath for pleasure as well as for healing and so created an early tourist industry. Bath developed into one of Europe’s most fashionable resorts with the entire City remodelled in a neo-classical architectural style. Terraces, crescents, circus and squares were laid out with parks and gardens between 1720 and 1790.

Visitor attractions including promenades, pleasure grounds and assembly rooms were built. Bath is the deliberate creation of a utopian city, bringing open-countryside right into the heart of the urban area. The surrounding countryside is also of exceptional quality and provided visitors with exercise through walks and rides. The city made a unique and special contribution to literacy, as it was the source of ideas and developments in natural philosophy and emerging science. It contributed to the spread of ideas of the Enlightenment and is testimony to an essential contribution to medical theories and practice. Today there is a high degree of survival of the authentic historic fabric, a continuing cultural tradition of wellbeing. Bath remains a thriving, beautiful and elegant spa city.


Roman Baths
Aerial view
Palladian bridge
Pulteney Bridge
The Obelisk in Orange Grove
Thermae Bath Spa

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