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Delegates from some of Europe’s finest spa towns have been meeting this week in Bath, for the second General Assembly of the Great Spa Towns of Europe.

In 2021, Bath received a rare second UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription as one of the 11 Great Spa Towns of Europe – fashionable spa towns laid out around natural springs which are used for health and wellbeing. However, at the time the city was unable to hold an official presentation due to the pandemic; the presentation was able to take place last night when Bath received the official UNESCO certificate confirming the city’s inscription as one of the 11 Great Spa Towns of Europe.

In attendance were Her Excellency Laura Davies, the Ambassador and Permanent Delegate for the UK Delegation to UNESCO, and James Bridge, the Secretary General and CEO of the UK National Commission for UNESCO. The incoming chair of the new Great Spa Towns of Europe Intergovernmental Committee and Head of National Coordination at World Heritage Austria, Ruth Pröckl, joined representatives from seven countries of the Great Spa Towns of Europe, including Alexandra Warr, the UK’s representative and Head of International Strategy at Historic England.

The group were able to discuss how to make the most of the joint inscription to bring recognition, conservation and economic benefits to each of the individual sites. Discussions included using the unique spa qualities as a driver for creating greener and more sustainable urban centres fit for the twenty-first century.

Delegates visited Bath’s new World Heritage Centre and had a chance to bathe in the thermal waters at Thermae Bath Spa, before experiencing the magical setting of the Roman Baths at night, for a drinks reception and dinner hosted by the Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, Councillor Kevin Guy.

Councillor Kevin Guy said: “It was a pleasure to welcome our partners from the Great Spa Towns of Europe to Bath. The presence of the General Assembly in Bath this week has given us another opportunity to mark our city’s status as one of the very finest historic spa towns in Europe, whose continuing cultural tradition of bathing and healing has resulted in unique urban forms and landscapes worthy of celebrating and conserving for future generations.”

For more information about the Great Spa Towns of Europe, visit

For more about Bath as a World Heritage Site, visit




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