Baños Árabes de Santa María
Baths in Córdoba
The Baños Árabes de Santa María or the Arab Baths of Santa María are Arab Baths located in the Jewish quarter of Cordoba, Andalucia in Spain. These baths are rather small, but are a perfect example of this type of Hispano-Moslem building.
They were public baths an is one of the few surviving examples of a kind of very popular and abundant building in the Muslim Córdoba, endurances in the Christian culture of modern times. It was declared of Cultural Interest on 30 April 2001 and is part of the historic center of Cordoba was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1994. 2
Its main access is through Velázquez Bosco street, numbers 8-10, although it also has an entrance through Céspedes street, number 11. They were built in the Caliph era and rebuilt in the fourteenth century by Mudejar alarifes .
Short History of the Baños Árabes de Santa María
They were possibly built in the Mudejar period on the site of a 10th century washing room connected to the Great Mosque of Cordoba. The first references to the baths are given after the conquest of the city by Fernando III in 1236. In 1380, they were given to the Cabildo de Córdoba, in order to be restored. The church, since then the owner of the baths, called them the baths of Santa María. A new boiler was made in 1329 and repaired in 1524. from 1611 the baths have been in private hands.
What can you see in the Baños Árabes de Santa María?
The present-day hallway was originally the changing room or rest room, bait al-máslaj, and led to the cold water room. The al bait al-bárid – frigidarium or cold room has undergone several alterations, and is now an open courtyard. The vaulted ceilings and the pool are lost, but the original galleries still remain with horseshoe arches and capitals from the Caliphal period. The al bait al-sajín – caldarium or hot room, is rectangular with a barrel-vault ceiling, and the recesses in the wall which contained the hot and cold water baths still remain. Just next to this room, at a depth of ten metres, is an elliptical-shaped water cistern.
Flamenco at the Baños Árabes de Santa María?
Perhaps the best way to visit the Baños Árabes are to visit one of their Flamenco nights. The old sauna room has been converted into an ideal place to be seduced by the passion and rhythms of authentic flamenco. Performances usually start at 10:00 PM you can usually get a complimentary beer, wine or soft drink to keep you refreshed!
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