Arabic Baths (Hydraulic heritage)
This termal bath dates back to the Muslim Era and is the best preserved of its kind on the Iberian peninsular. It is located on the site of the suburbs of the ancient Islamic city, which is nowadays known as the Barrio de San Miguel, and is on the outskirts of what was once the Muslim Medina (walled city) of Ronda.
They were built next to the Stream of Snakes ("Arroyo de las Culebras"). This spot was the ideal place due to the abundant water supply, which was diverted and passed through a complex sysytem of water wheels which are still well preserved today.
These Arab Baths at Ronda were built between the 13th and 14th centuries and is divided up into three distinct rooms, which was based on the Roman design of cold, warm and hot baths. The underground and overground water systems used in the past have almost totally been preserved up to today and can be seen to be in good condition.
The main room is the largest of the three parts which are separated by four pairs of brick horseshoe arches which rest on stone and brick pillars. They themselves hold up the vaulted ceiling, which has some glassed star-shaped skylights in it.
The building is enclosed by an arched wall that, in turn, acted as an aqueduct. There is a tower at the end with a waterwheel. The area which was used to warm up the water is also well preserved as, too, are the remains of the tannery, which was the main use that was given to these baths once they had stopped being used as such after the reconquest by the Christian troops.