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The Arab baths
Plaza Santa Luisa de Marillac, s/n

Plaza Santa Luisa de Marillac, s/n
953 248 068

Tuesday to Saturday: 9.00 to 20.15
Sunday: 9.00 to 15.00

Closed on Mondays and bank holidays
Temporarily closed for repairs

The Arab baths in Jaén were built in the 11th century. They are located on the basement of the Palacio de Villardompardo, at the heart of the old part of the city. They are the biggest and best preserved baths in Al-Andalus.
Restricted use in cultural visits.

The hamman or baths was a key point in the Islamic world, where apart from washing and taking care of the body the spirit was purified. Its use was dictated in the major ablution, which was mandatory for the Friday prayer. All kinds of people entered the baths, both rich and poor, men and women alike, but in different timetables. The place is made up of different arched chambers with star-shaped skylights. The first room is the vestibule (al-bayt al-maslaj), which is a transverse lounge with chambers on both extremes. Next come the cold room (al-bayt al-barid) and the lukewarm room (al-bayt al-wastani), a big square lounge covered by a semi-spherical dome over horseshoe arches. There are several gaps on the floor through which we can see the brick pillars, allowing for circulation of hot air. Through two horseshoe arches, this room enlarges towards a lounge with two lateral chambers. The last one is the hot room (al-bayt al-sajun), with two lateral chambers next to the boiler, where water was heated. Some rooms have white-tiled floors, and the walls were originally decorated with red-painted arcades on a white background.

Next to the Arab baths there is the Palacio de Villardompardo, built by Don Fernando de Torres y Portugal, ex-viceroy of Peru, with a renaissance patio. Today it hosts a Cultural Centre which exhibits the Arts and Popular Traditions Museum and the International Museum of Naïf Art.


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