The Arab Baths (Banys Àrabs) date back to a period between the 10th and 12th centuries, and were built based on antique elements and by recycling capitals from previous periods (Muslim, Byzantine and Roman capitals). The Arab Baths are perfectly integrated in the gardens of the former orchard of the manor house Can Fontirroig.
They were probably part of a nobleman’s house and are similar to those found in other Islamic cities. The tepidarium has a dome in the shape of a half orange, with 25 round shafts for sun light, supported by a dozen columns.
Notice how each of the columns is different – they were probably salvaged from the ruins of various Roman buildings, an early example of recycling. Hammams were meeting-places as well as wash-houses, and the courtyard with its cactus, palm and orange trees would have made a pleasant place to cool off after a hot bath.
Visitors can explore inside the ancient bathhouse, and although the small site is easy to cover with a short visit, it’s worth leaving time to stroll around the surrounding gardens. A popular part of historic walking tours and Palma sightseeing tours, a visit to the baths is often combined with the nearby La Seu Cathedral, Almudaina Palace, and Parque del Mer.
Palma’s Arab Baths are located on Carrer de Can Serra, just behind the Museum of Mallorca. It’s easy to reach the Baths on foot from downtown; they are about five minutes’ walk from Palma Cathedral.