Fodor's Expert Review Banys Arabs

Girona Bath/Hot Spring

A misnomer, the Banys Arabs were actually built by Morisco craftsmen (workers of Moorish descent) in the late 12th century, long after Girona's Islamic occupation (714–797) had ended. Following the old Roman model that had disappeared in the West, the custom of bathing publicly may have been brought back from the Holy Land with the Crusaders. These baths are sectioned off into three rooms in descending order: a frigidarium, or cold bath, a square room with a central octagonal pool and a skylight with cupola held up by two stories of eight fine columns; a tepidarium, or warm bath; and a caldarium, or steam room, beneath which is a chamber where a fire was kept burning. Here the inhabitants of old Girona came to relax, exchange gossip, or do business. It is known from another public bathhouse in Tortosa, Tarragona, that the various social classes came to bathe by sex and religion on fixed days of the week: Christian men on one day, Christian women on another, Jewish... READ MORE

A misnomer, the Banys Arabs were actually built by Morisco craftsmen (workers of Moorish descent) in the late 12th century, long after Girona's Islamic occupation (714–797) had ended. Following the old Roman model that had disappeared in the West, the custom of bathing publicly may have been brought back from the Holy Land with the Crusaders. These baths are sectioned off into three rooms in descending order: a frigidarium, or cold bath, a square room with a central octagonal pool and a skylight with cupola held up by two stories of eight fine columns; a tepidarium, or warm bath; and a caldarium, or steam room, beneath which is a chamber where a fire was kept burning. Here the inhabitants of old Girona came to relax, exchange gossip, or do business. It is known from another public bathhouse in Tortosa, Tarragona, that the various social classes came to bathe by sex and religion on fixed days of the week: Christian men on one day, Christian women on another, Jewish men on still another, Jewish women (and prostitutes) on a fourth, Muslims on others.

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Bath/Hot Spring Historic District/Site

Quick Facts

Carrer Ferran el Catòlic s/n
Girona, Catalonia  17004, Spain

972-190797

www.banysarabs.org

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: €2

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