Ronda - Arab Public Baths
This thermal building of the arab time is the best conserved of its kind at the Iberian Peninsula. It is located at the old arab quarter of the city, today called San Miguel Quarter, being the formerly outside quarter of the arab medina (city) of Ronda.
The bahts were built near the Arroyo de las Culebras (snakes' stream), a perfect place in order to be provided of water, which was moved by a waterwheel, in an current perfect conservation state.
The chronology of the Ronda arab bahts starts at the 13th-14th centuries. The bath is divided into three main zones, following the Roman model of thermal buildings:cold water, warm water and hot water bathrooms. The hydraulic system of the thermal bath has arrived to our days almost complete.
The central room is the biggest and has got three parts, separated by four pairs of horseshoe arches above bricks and stone columns, which have the function of holding up barrel vaults, with nice skylights forming stars, closed with glass.
The building is surrounded by one wall with blind arches (no light can be seen through them) and has got at its end a tower containing the waterwheel structure. The boiler area is also conserved, where the water was heated, as well as rests of a tannery, which was the main activity of this place after the christian conquest of the city, which meant that the use of the building as thermal baths was neglected.