Victorian pomp mixed with Arabic style

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5036546957_f3a84d38d0_bHarrogate is a spa town in North Yorkshire, England and a very nice getaway to discover its past, taste the smelly sulphur waters at the Royal Pump Room Museum, or to pamper yourself at the newly redeveloped Victorian Turkish Baths.

The town became known as ‘The English Spa’ in the Georgian Era, after its waters were discovered in the 16th century.

But it was during Victorian times that the Royal Baths Assembly Rooms were opened. Then anyone who was anyone headed for hamams, or Turkish Baths, to ‘sweat it out’, and receive the latest treatments.

8622366540_306b505c20_bPopular by European Royal families and socialites of the time, Harrogate’s Baths achieved a wide publicity and many came to sit in the great hall or bathe in exotic luxury. In the late 1960′s spa treatments were declining and only the Turkish Baths remained.

Although Turkish Baths were common in Victorian times, only seven remain in England which date back to the 19th century. None is as historically complete and in full working order as the one in Harrogate.

This place is a real gem. The architecture is wonderful and the whole experience is, well, just so English. Thanks to the help of National Lottery money and council funding a new entrance and café-reception area were added in 2002 (with replica 19th-century posters advertising the baths) treatment rooms were built and the baths themselves have been restored to their former glory.

With its elaborate arched roofs and original Arabic tiles (only one per cent had to be replaced), it’s the perfect place to enjoy your spa getaway and decadent treatments.

This is a real Victoriana and not just for tourists.

Photo Credits
Symbiosis via Compfight cc
Video Credits
Harrogate Web TV - videostep.co.uk via YouTube