Yesterday the Councillor for Tourism Francisco Cañestro, and the Junta de Andalucía’s Minister of Tourism, Commerce and Sport, Luciano Alonso Alonso officially reopened the Arab Baths in Ronda after extensive renovations allowing wheelchair access for one of Andalucía’s most important Moorish monuments.
The Arab Baths in Ronda are considered the most complete baths and in original state, but have been all but impossible to enjoy by people with disabilities, in addition the gardens and water wheel have been inaccessible to all visitors for many years.
Recent accessibility renovations have opened a new entrance to the Baths nearer to the Puente Arabe which will be opened on demand for tour groups and people with disabilities, though access to the gardens and water wheel is also now provided from a side entrance to the Baths that was previously locked.
Taking their que from the ruins at Acinipo, the gardens have pieces of ruined achitecture such as columns, drains, and lintels scattered around, whilst bark has been spread to give the gardens a zen-like appearance. Gently sloping paths have been created, the intention being to create a small oasis from which to admire the medieval walls of the city.
Visitors to the Arab Baths will now be able to appreciate the engineering triumphs of Moorish Rondeños who created the water wheel and aqueduct to feed the baths with water from the rio Guadalevin and the Arroyo de las Culebras. Whilst the chain mechanism is long gone, the tower remains in excellent condition.
The re-opening ceremony was also attended by the mayor of Ronda Antonio Marín Lara, several councillors, and the leader of the municipal opposition María Paz Fernandez.