Situated along the road that from Mġarr leads to Għajn Tuffieħa, these Roman baths were discovered by accident in 1929 when Government workers were digging to pass a conduit that could channel fresh water from a perennial spring that runs through the valley (mainly underground) down to the Għajn Tuffieħa British Military camp.

Excavations undertaken both in that same year (1929) and in the following one (1930) confirmed that these were Roman baths of the late first and early second centuries AD. The availability of fresh water – so crucial for any bath complex – from a spring in that area would seem to have been a determining factor in the choice of the site for this bathing complex. Moreover, as suggested by the documented presence of burials in the nearby localities of Żebbiegħ and Mġarr, the area might have not been as deserted as one might get the impression from the way it looks today.

Though not yet fully excavated, the complex would seem to have been fairly extensive with a communal latrine that could accommodate no fewer than 12 persons and what could have possibly been an accommodation building where clients could stay overnight. This bath complex has everything one would find in Roman baths: the tepidarium, the frigidarium, and the caldarium. Each was fed by water channelled through channels while the caldarium was built on arches so that the water could be heated. Besides these, a huge swimming pool (natatio) also formed part of the bathing complex. Though not fully excavated as it extends beneath the adjacent modern road, this pool is expected to have been rectangular in shape.

In spite of sporadic interventions, the site suffered long years of neglect, only to be almost entirely backfilled in 2019 and 2021 as a drastic but necessary measure to ensure its preservation for future generations. It will, however, soon be virtually accessible.

Għajn Tuffieħa Roman Baths

Archaeological Remains

Permanently Closed

Triq Il-Ġnien ta’ Għajn Tuffieħa, Mgarr, Malta

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Getting Here

Address

Triq Il-Ġnien ta’ Għajn Tuffieħa,

Mgarr,

Malta

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The closest bus stop is 5 minutes on foot. Interested in getting here by public transport?

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