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The Arab baths of Girona

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The uniqueness and historical value of the Arab baths in Girona is due to the fact that they are the only ones in the Iberian Peninsula of this type. Curiously, contrary to what their name suggests, they are from the Christian era, but follow the same structure as the Muslim baths.

Located in Plaça dels Jurats, their existence was first recorded in 1194. However, in 1285, the complex suffered partial destruction due to an attack by the French troops of Philip the Bold.

The Arab baths of Girona

During the Middle Ages, part of the baths served as a mikveh for the Jewish community that had settled in the old town of the city.

These baths ceased to function in the 16th century, and in the 17th century, a community of Capuchin nuns converted the baths into part of their cloister.

The studies of Josep Puig i Cadafalch were key for the Diputació de Girona to acquire the property in 1929. Finally, the Diputació promoted its restoration, and in 1932 they opened their doors to the general public.

Currently, the complex, in Romanesque style, still retains all the elements that originally configured the public bathhouse, and it is a place full of calm.

The entrance leads to the dressing room or apodyterium, a spacious reception area designed for socializing. This room houses an octagonal pool bordered by columns and, in the volcanic stone ceiling, has a lantern that provides natural light.

The apodyterium led to the smallest room in the complex: the frigidarium or cold room, which was the first room in the wet area of the baths. Following tradition, bathers would visit it at the end of their visit to immerse themselves in the rainwater stored there.

Next, the warm room or tepidarium was the turning point in the circuit, as it connected the hot water area with the cold water area. In this space, visitors could engage in conversation, enjoy massages, or eat and drink something.

As an anecdote, the size and organization of the space indicates that the Capuchin nuns used this room as the convent kitchen.

The baths are open to the public throughout the year, from Monday to Saturday, from 10 am to 6 pm, and Sundays and holidays, from 10 am to 2 pm. They are only closed on January 1 and 6 and from December 24 to 26.

Find out everything you can do and see in Girona at the following link.

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