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ROMAN BATHS AT GHAJN TUFFIEHA

At a short distance uphill on the road leading from Ghajn Tuffieha to Mgarr are the remains of a Roman country-house, or villa. The site was excavated in 1929.

Little is left of the villa proper but the baths which were attached to the house are still in a good state of preservation. As in the case of the Roman House at Rabat, this villa gives an idea of the leisurely life enjoyed by the Romans serving in Malta.

Restoration of this interesting archaeological site was undertaken in 1961 with UNESCO funds. The complex consists of five rooms along a corridor paved with earthenware tiles. Nearby are the ruins of a piscina, or pool. On the other side of the corridor is the Tepidarium (warm bath) with a fine polychrome mosaic pavement. The Frigidarium (cold waterbath) stands at a lower level - its mosaic floor is worn out.

At a little distance, there is the Caldarium (the hot room). Hot air from a furnace circulated beneath the floor to heat this room, which probably served as meeting place for the guests in the villa. This heating method was the Roman version of modern central heating.

It appears that this country house had all the necessary comforts known in those distant days. its owner must have been a man of substance and of cultivated tastes.

The site is nowadays enclosed within a boundary wall. Those interested in visiting the baths should collect the key from the nearby farmhouse. armhouse.

Text courtesy of the National Tourism Organisation - Malta.