The Caliphal Baths are Arab baths in Córdoba. They are situated in the historic centre which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994. The hammam ('baths) are contiguous to the Alcázar andalusí; ablutions and bodily cleanliness were an essential part of a Muslim's life, mandatory before prayer, besides being a social ritual.
The baths were constructed in the 10th century, under the Caliphate of Al-Hakam II for the enjoyment of the caliph and his court. Between the 11th and 13th centuries, they were used by Almoravids and Almohads, their dynasties noted by the plaster-carved acanthus motif and epigraphic bands of the era, which are stored in the Archaeological and Ethnological Museum of Cordoba. The remains of the baths were found accidentally in 1903 in the Campo Santo de los Mártires, and were subsequently buried. Between 1961 and 1964, a group of city historians recovered them.
The Caliphal Baths have different sections of cold, warm and hot water baths. Architectural details include rooms with masonry walls, semicircular arches, and columns with capitals. The ceiling is punctuated by cut-outs of stars.References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.