Have any of you been to the Malta Baths on St. Croix? I saw them this morning. They're about four miles north of Frederiksted.
There are two, each about 10 by 15 feet and a few feet deep. They're separated by a small land bridge. There are a couple other bridges. One pool is extremely rectangular with flat sides and appears to be carved. One source I have says it is probably natural, while a UVI source says it is man-made.
The rectangular one has steps leading down, presumably carved in the 1930s. There are also some crumbling foundations of what were once adjoining buildings. They don't look too old-perhaps built in the last century.
My impression is that this may have been a resort at one time, but has been almost totally forgotten. I've never heard anyone talk about it. Since there is very little litter in the area, I assume they are largely unknown. A google search brings up nothing of consequence. I'd appreciate any information on them.
not sure about accuracy, but ive heard them called the 'monks baths' too. i was told some story [from another UVI source] about some sort of small monastery [heh.. spelling? monk-staying place =)] in the area and that being their bathing area.
sweet spot though, huh? =)
Here is the only published information of any consequence I have:
"These are purported to be 'baths' made by the Knoghts of Malta when they owned the island in 1653-1665. Hence the name of this beach, 'The Baths, Malta Baths, or Monks Baths.' One pool in particular is markedly rectangular, and the sides appear hewn rather than dissolved. It is likely that these are natural formations, and that the whole idea of the baths was dreamed up in this [20th] century to glamorize the area as a resort (since bathing was considered unhealthy in the 1600s. The steps, at least, were carved in the 1930s."
Shirley Imsand and Richard Philibosian, Exploring St. Croix: A Guide & Memento for Visitors and Locals (Travelers Information Press, Pasadena: 1987), p. 78.