While wandering around the city it is important to remember the hidden gems of the place. For example, walking down the streets of Granada you can hardly notice the doors of the impressive and very well preserved Arab baths from the 11th century, Bañuelo, also known by the name «Aammim Alyawza» (Baths of Walnut). This almost happened to me! Fortunately, a friend of mine reminded me that I had to find them.
The Bañuelo baths are located on the ground floor of a private house, in the Carrera del Darro, at the foot of the Alhambra, and show us the degree of refinement that the Spanish Arabs lived in a thousand years ago. This is one of the few places of this type that managed to survive during the Reconquista, since amongst Christians the Arab baths had a very bad reputation, sometimes even comparable to that of brothels. In 1918, El Bañuelo de Granada was declared a National Monument and the architect Torres Balbás was rightly in charge of its restoration. What may be the most surprising is their size, as they are quite wide, and in the state of conservation. They are supported by a series of arches of Arab style. Their construction seems to date back as far as the 11th century, and is the oldest, most important and complete Arab public baths in Spain, and one of the oldest works in Muslim Granada. El Bañuelo is accessed through a small house, its construction renovated in the Christian era. Its plan is rectangular and has concrete walls, covering the different brick vault rooms with octagonal and star-shaped skylights to illuminate them.
This place cannot be missed! What’s more, the atmosphere enables you to travel in time and appreciate the past of our ancestors.