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City of Bath
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City of Bath
The City of Bath is located in the North-West of England and the entire city is a World Heritage site.
Location of Bath (Bath Heritage, 2013)
The city of Bath was founded in the 1st century by the Romans who used the hot springs as a thermal spa. The Roman remains especially the Temple of Sulis Minerva are amongst the most important Roman remains north of the Alps. After the fall of the Roman empire Bath became a major wool-production centre. In the 18th century Bath experienced a rebirth and was re-developed by John Wood, Ralph Allen and Richard Nash who planned to make Bath the most beautiful city in Europe (WHC, 2014). Bath city has been on the UNESCO world heritage site since 1987 and is the only destination in the United Kingdom to have a whole city designated as a World Heritage site. Bath is also the only place in the United Kingdom where one can bathe in thermal water that comes from natural hot springs beneath the city surface (Visit Bath, 2014).
Bath Skyline (National Trust, 2014)
The value of Bath as a world heritage site can be found in the excellent integration of architecture, urban design and landscape setting. The individual buildings are part of the larger overall city landscape. All of the developments relate to one another and are connected to the wider landscape surrounding the town. Bath is an example of the 18th century building style where the focus was on achieving picturesque views. The urban and landscape spaces are created by the buildings surrounding them making the countryside part of the city and creating a distinctive garden city feel. Bath combines two great eras in human history, Roman and Georgina. Even though bath gained greatest importance in Roman and Georgian time, the city reflects two millennia of developments (WHC,2014).
In 2009 the City of Bath was almost put on the World Heritage site list of sites in danger, there were some controversial developments such as the neo-Georgian South-Gate shopping mall and plans to build 2,200 flats on the edge of town. The local community had asked the UNESCO inspectors who visited Bath in 2009 to look into the proposed residential development which in their opinion was to modern in comparison to the Georgian buildings in the town (Glancey, 2009). This indicates one of the major managerial issues Bath is facing, combining the facilities necessary in a modern city with the historical aspects of the city. In 2009 UNESCO performed an inspection on Bath city. They concluded that the buildings are well preserved however they indicated that the State Party should embark on a reinforced, integrated and homogenous interpretation for the entire World heritage site and that perhaps a interpretation centre is necessary for this complex living World heritage site (WHC,2009). Another issue is the necessary improvement on the transportation and how this can be incorporated in the garden city feel (WHC, 2014).
Written by Antionia Broeders
Bath heritage (2013) Bath. [Online] Available from http://bath-heritage.co.uk/about.html Accessed 16-11-2014
Glancey (2009) Bath saves its world heritage status...just. The Guardian. Published 10 November 2009.
National Trust (2014) Bath skyline. [Online] Available from: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bath-skyline/ [Accessed 16-11-2014]
Visit Bath (2014) World heritage bath. [Online] Available from: http://visitbath.co.uk/things-to-do/world-heritage-bath Accessed 14-11-2014
WHC (2014) City of Bath. [Online] Available from: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/428/ Accessed 14-11-2014
WHC (2009). SOC report 2009 City of Bath. [Online] Available from: http://whc.unesco.org/en/soc/720 Accessed 14-11-2014
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