This Valencian cute little bath house, The Admiral’s Baths (los baños del Almirante – Spanish -, Banys de l’Almirall – Valenciano -) is tucked in an alley in the vicinity of Plaza de la Virgen and located close to Palacio de los Almirantes de Aragón downtown Valencia.
This medieval bath house was built in the 14th century by Pere de Vilarasa, a knight and jurist during the reign of Jaime II. Its style is mainly Arabic, mixed with local style called mudéjar (Christian architecture style from Iberican peninsula).
Between the years 700 and 1500 the Arabs settled in Spain and during those 8 centuries they contributed different elements of their culture and religion. One of those elements is the Arab baths or hammam. This building was intended for public baths that followed the tradition of Arab baths or hammam. According to the Arabian custom, this hammam was also a center for social gatherings for public at that time. The Admiral’s Baths are one of the few in Spain that have remained active since its creation until the twentieth century.
In 1944 Valencian municipality declared this as a historical site, followed by its closure in 1956. First restoration started in 1961. In 1993 it was acknowledged as Bien de Interés Cultural (BIC), Cultural Interest Property. Second restoration took place from 2005 en was completed in 2012.
The building consists of three rooms: the cold room, the warm one and the hot one. The walls of the bathrooms are very solid and thick to resist humidity and at the same time maintain heat. Originally the rooms were in colours but they have been repainted in white. I wonder how they looked like then, coloured and full of people.
Visitors spend the average of 30 minutes admiring this site. A recording with sounds of people chatting and streaming water is supposed to let visitors experience how it once was.
I love the star formed openings on the ceiling, allowing sunlight to illuminate the chambers.
The potteries and wooden buckets give a cachet in this tepid room. Visiting this cute little bath house is soothing, especially in the heat of the summer day when temperature can climb up to 37 degree Celsius in Valencia. It was cool inside, proving the building technique and the benefit of a hammam, that is to relax.
The Admiral’s Baths/Banys de l’Almirall is exactly located on Carrer dels Banys de l’Almirall 35 in Valencia. It is free entrance. Flyers with information about the bath house are available for free at the entrance (information of visit in July 2017).
Tuesday – Friday: 10.00 am – 6.00 pm
Saturday – Sunday: 09.00 am – 02.00 pm