Twelfth-century bathhouse uncovered in Spanish bar
February 28, 2021
dunaway13 (405 articles)
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Twelfth-century bathhouse uncovered in Spanish bar

The ‘hammam’ was discovered in Seville when the popular venue Cervecería Giralda underwent renovation work and features elaborate geometric decorations.

The hammam on Mateos Gago street, in the southern Spanish city of Seville, is located just a few meters away from the city’s Roman Catholic cathedral, and for a century it has been the most crowded of the city’s Arab baths. The thing is, customers were not going there to immerse themselves in water, but rather to pour liquid down their throats: the baths were concealed under a popular bar named Cervecería Giralda.

In the early 1900s, the architect Vicente Traver converted the building into a hotel, thus concealing (and preserving) a bathhouse dating back to the 12th century, during the days of the Almohad Caliphate that ruled Al-Andalus.

The ancient structure emerged again last summer when the bar underwent some renovation work. The work exposed high-quality murals that are unique to Spain and Portugal. The find came as a big surprise as everyone had previously thought the structure was nothing more than “a Neo-Mudejar pastiche,” in the words of Fran Díaz, the architect in charge of the refurbishment.

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Paintings in one of the vaults of the hammam discovered in Seville. PACO PUENTES
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