These are probably one of the most important monumental legacies we have received from the Muslim period in Spain.
These Arabic baths, or hammam, from the 10th century in Cordoba are located within the Alcazar structure. They are a descendant of Roman Baths, with different rooms for cold, warm, and hot water.
They were built by the caliph Alhaken II, at a time when the city had hundreds of baths to serve a population of a few hundred thousand.
These Arabic baths, or hammam, were possibly the most important ones in the city. Ablutions and bodily cleansing prior to prayer, with the use of the cork tree (cork sandals), were an essential part of Muslim life. At the same time, it was one of the main social and leisure activities in the society of those times.
It was mandatory for prayer, as a religious purification ritual. Muhammad wrote: “Hygiene is an expression of faith.”
Here you can see the main characteristics of the Andalusian public baths and how they developed their functions for both women and men. Men and women could, however, never wash together.
Here in these baths, issues of state were resolved by the Caliph and his subjects, and regicides were committed… This was the case for Caliph Ummayad Abdarrahman V.
From the 11th to the 13th centuries, they were reused by the Almoravids and the Almohads. Evidence for this is the plasterwork carved with arabesque motifs (vegetal and floral designs).