Banys Àrabs

Palma de Mallorca

These baths, dating from the 10th to 12th centuries, are the single most important remaining monument to the Muslim domination of the island, although all that survives are two small underground chambers, one with a domed ceiling supported by a dozen columns, some of whose capitals were recycled from demolished Roman buildings. The site may be small, but the two rooms – the caldarium (hot bath) and the tepidarium (warm bath) – evoke a poignant sense of abandonment.

Normally there would also have been a third, cold bath, the frigidarium. As the Roman terms suggest, the Arabs basically took over a Roman idea, here in Mallorca and throughout the Arab world. These ones probably were not public but attached to a private mansion. The baths are set in one of Old Palma's prettiest gardens, where you can sit and relax.

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