Arab Baths of Jaén

Jaén, Spain

The Arab Baths of Jaén (Baños Arabes de Jaén) are a well-preserved historic hammam (Islamic bathhouse). The bathhouse dates from the 11th century during the Taifa or late Caliphal period, but may have undergone later alterations, probably in the 12th century. It is one of the largest known examples of Andalusi bathhouses, and is distinguished from others by its particularly large 'warm room' (bayt al-wasti).

Following the Christian conquest of the city by Ferdinand III in 1246, the baths remained in use for a while until they were repurposed as tanneries. In the 16th century Don Fernando de Torres y Portugal (Count of Villardompardo and Viceroy of Peru) built himself a private palace on top of the baths, thus hiding them for centuries. They were only definitively rediscovered by Enrique Romero de Torres in 1913 during a survey of historic buildings in the city. Archeological studies later followed and the site was declared a Cultural Heritage Property of Spain in 1931. Today it is open to visitors as a historical attraction as part of the Palacio de Villardompardo.



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Founded: 11th century
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Spain

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User Reviews

Anna Tomczyk (9 months ago)
I have read that there are the largest Baños Arabes on the Iberian peninsula - and of those I saw in Andalusia, they were not only the largest but also very pretty
Alex Rodgers (15 months ago)
The Arab baths are amazing. You're immediately presented with a rich cultural history of Andalucía. The baths are very large and well preserved. You can see the distinct style of Arabian architecture by looking up at the ceiling and seeing stars etched from stone. You are also able to view the different sections of the baths, from the main lounging areas, as well as the the pathways that were used to carry river water into the baths. For me, my favorite section of the Arab baths was the vestíbulo. The vestíbulo is a long entrance hall where you´re immediately shown the intricacy of the baths. When I went, it was my first time I had seen any arab baths and I was immediately blown away. If you go to the top floor, you can also go out on the terrace where you can get an incredible view of the Cathedral and the rest of Jaén. If you enjoy the history of Spain then this is a location that you shouldn't miss.
Patrick Bastow (4 years ago)
This is the Arab baths - without the water. It’s free and it’s big. It has a lot more to see than just the baths. It’s mainly in Spanish though. Worth a visit if you like history and historic buildings and the walk to the museum is nice
Martin Lisowski (4 years ago)
The ancient Arab Bath is in quite good condition given its age and well worth a visit. Recommend to sit down in the video room first to better understand the structure and its use (narrated in Spanish). A small café with roof terrace and nice view over the old city tops it off.
Hardy Brooks (5 years ago)
Wow, much better than it first appears. Many levels covering art and history plus one of the best views in the city from the top floor. And it's free. Also had a very good toasted sandwich from the cafe.
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