Royal Mudejar Baths
It is believed that, in the times of the caliphal Córdoba, there could have been up to nine hundred public baths, which indicates the interest of the population in hygiene and the pleasure of bathing. A proof of this are the examples which are still preserved in our city, such as the ones located on the streets Carlos Rubio, Cara or Velásquez Bosco... among many others, of which we have plenty of information but, unfortunately, we could not preserve.
Apart from the mentioned public baths, in our city there were a great number of private baths, to be used by important people in their palaces. Of this kind, we only preserve the Royal Mudejar Baths of the Alcázar of the Christian Monarchs, built in the year 1338 by King Alfonso for his favourite Leonor Núñez de Guzmán, who used to spend long periods of time in our city waiting for her lover to come back after the different battles against the Saracens. Curiously enough, the King had long ago banned public baths in Christian Spain because of public moral reasons. Built in the purest mudejar style, the works were led by the famous stonemason Maese Mohamad, helped by his son-in-law, the carpenter Yuçaff, and other mudejar master builders.
Located under the Hall of the Mosaics, the Royal Baths can be accessed going down the same stairs which lead to the Moorish Courtyard. They are annexed to the northern wall, and nowadays their conservation state is excellent.
Originally, the baths had rectangular floor, which is altered nowadays, with several halls depending on their use and function. We start with an access area covered by a barrel vault, with a skylight annexed to one of the walls, which borders with one of the courtyards, used as a cesspit, uncovered, at the time when this building was used as a prison. After this area we can find the resting area, with splayed skylights in the shape of six-point star, arranged in parallel. On the left, there is the warm room, to get dressed and rest, covered by a groin vault. Finally, we can find the hot water room, with a rectangular floor, covered by a barrel vault and with similar skylights over its longitudinal axis.
Both the hot water and the artificial heat were produced in two independent departments, located at the end, beyond the hot water room. The Tribute Tower, which had a cistern, supplied the water for the baths. From the boiler, the water circulated through clay conical pipes, towards each of the individual baths. They were approximately 1.40 x 1.40 metres long.
If you are wondering what to visit in Córdoba, a good option would be the Alcázar of the Christian Monarchs and its Royal Mudejar Baths, choosing one of our guided tours. Choosing to do high quality sightseeing is choosing ArtenCórdoba.