Galiana or San Miguel Arab baths (Hydraulic heritage)
The medina of Ronda experienced it most magnificent days under the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada. The Hamman stands in the suburb that resulted from the massive influx of inhabitants caused by the Castilian influence. It is now among the best-preserved ones in Spain.
• Heritage Value: Medium
• Landscape Value: High
• Condition: Medium state of repair
• Type of hydraulic structure: Baths
• Stage of the Great Málaga Path: Stage 23: El Burgo - Ronda
• Where to find it: Ronda
• Period: 13th and 14th centuries
• Architect: Unknown
• UTM Coordinates: 306885,6, 4068084,39
HOW TO FIND IT
The baths can be found in the eastern and lower area of the village, in the Padre Jesús district, next to the bridge Puente Viejo. It is open for visits.
The site included:
- A hydraulic system using sakia and aqueduct for collecting water from the river.
- A bath area featuring a hall, a cold room, a warm room, a hot room, and adjoining units.
The baths may have lost all their architectural ornamentation, but they have retained their structure and distribution in such good order that their functioning can be entirely appreciated. They have been restored and adapted for visitors.
This thermal bath dates back to the Muslim Era and is the best preserved of its kind on the Iberian Peninsula. 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 stands on the outskirts of what was once the Muslim Medina (walled city) of Ronda.
They were built next to the Arroyo de las Culebras (Stream of Snakes). This spot was the ideal place due to the abundant water supply, which was diverted and passed through a complex system 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 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 serving as such after the reconquest by the Christian troops.