AN EVENING EXPLORING
THE ANCIENT ROMAN BATHS BY TORCHLIGHT
ANTINOUS is believed by many experts to have accompanied Hadrian on the Emperor's visit to Britain in 122 AD to oversee construction of the Wall.
So it is possible that Antinous washed off the highway dust at the mineral spring-fed baths at AQUAE SULIS — (the waters of the goddess SULIS, whom the Romans identified with MINERVA) — the modern-day city of Bath in Somerset.
By the time Antinous and Hadrian may have visited Bath in the 2nd Century AD, the spring had been enclosed within a wooden barrel-vaulted building, which housed the calidarium (hot bath), tepidarium (warm bath), and frigidarium (cold bath).
Bathing was not only for hygiene and relaxation, but also for sacred ceremonial purposes. This building was an improvement to the temple constructed in 60–70 AD by the Ancient Romans when they occupied Ancient Britain.
The Roman engineers managed to harness the warm geothermal underground spring water, allowing the building to be used as a Roman bathing complex. Today it has been carefully preserved for tourists and visitors to enjoy.
This summer visitors will have a unique opportunity to experience this special 2,000-year-old structure in the evening during July and August at specially designated openings. This will give visitors the opportunity to explore this ancient building as night time falls, while the building is lit by torchlight.
The Roman Baths are open daily and last admission for the evening events is at 9pm, general admission is £8.00 – £12.50, and there are family and season tickets also available. For more information, click the ROMAN BATHS BY TORCHLIGHT website.