Palma – Baños árabes (Arab Baths)

There’s not much left of the Moors in Palma, nearly all of the Muslim architecture has been destroyed and lost in the near thousand years since they were in Mallorca (the Balearic Islands were controlled by the Muslims between 902 and 1229). But, the Arab Baths are an exception, created in around the tenth to twelfth centuries.

The garden area around the baths, which was once used as an orchard.

This is the Caldarium, or the hot water bath room, which has a domed roof. The columns aren’t all the same, which comes down to a decision made by the builders nearly one thousand years to use recycled building materials, which is very environmental. This means that there are a collection of slightly random pillars, some Roman and some later, which have been used in the construction.

There were at least five baths during the Muslim period of the city’s history, with this one thought to be attached to a private house, rather than a public facility.

The barrel vaulted cold room, located next to the main domed room.

There’s not a vast amount to see at the site, but it’s still fairly astounding that there is anything left at all given just how old this structure is. It’s not clear what the building has been used for over the last several hundred years, but it has likely just been used for storage and that’s what has saved it.