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Baños de los Arabes (Arab baths)

Baños de los Arabes (Arab baths)

Reached by rudimentary steps from the Puente Viejo below the Salvatierra palacio, these are said to be one of the best surviving examples of original Arabic hammams, water baths, in Spain. Built in the 11th or 12th centuries, their functioning parts vanished centuries ago but the underground chambers have been partly-renovated, and occasionally even host classical music concerts. The three main rooms - hot, medium, and cold - would have been fed with water from the two streams that meet nearby. Most notable are the star-shaped light and air vents in the domed ceilings, a common touch in Arab architecture, and in larger structures at Sevilla and Granada part of a complex astronomical symbolism that connected Arabic ideas of cosmology with the everyday. The baths are believed to have been the main hammam for Moorish Ronda, although interestingly they lie outside the defensive walls and would have been used in more peaceable times.



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