How to visit “El Bañuelo” of Granada, an 11th century Arab Bath

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Have you heard about the ancient Arab baths that existed in our country?

Specifically in the city of Granada, there is one of the best-preserved public Arab baths on the peninsula.

Visiting the Bañuelo of Granada is one of the recommended activities for both tourists and locals. A historical place, easy to visit and that will help you better understand how our ancestors lived.

El Bañuelo of Granada – Everything you need to know for your visit

Here we leave you the information you need to know about the location, hours and rates of El Bañuelo de Granada, one of the most popular monuments in the city.

Where is?

The first thing you should know to add this place to your tourist route through Granada, is its location and how to get there.

Well, you will have no problem finding it, as it is located in one of the busiest areas, the Carrera del Darro, popularly known as Paseo de los Tristes. This street is very close to the city center and is considered one of the most charming and must-see places.

At number 31 of this street (more or less halfway up), you will find the monument of El Bañuelo, on the banks of the Darro River and in front of the Cadí Bridge.

Do not get carried away by the sobriety of its facade, because the wonderful interior architecture will surprise you!

And, how to get to El Bañuelo of Granada?

The most recommended way to get to any part of the historic center of Granada is to do it on foot, as it is usually the fastest way and also, every street and every corner traveled can offer you a very valuable history.

However, you can get there by microbus, through lines C31, C32 and C34, or by taxi to Plaza Nueva (5 minutes on foot).

Getting here in your own vehicle is not recommended, except if it is by motorcycle. In the same new Plaza there is a motorcycle parking where you will find more places in the afternoons and the closest car parks to leave your car are Parking de San Agustín, Parking Puerta Real or Parking Victoria.

What is its history?

Starting at the beginning …

The Arab baths or hammam were public baths and a social meeting place for the Muslims of Al-Andalus. Here men and women came separately, regularly to wash, cut their hair, receive massages and simply relax.

Specifically, the Bañuelo of Granada, was built in the 11th century at the time of the Ziri king Badis, which is why it is considered the oldest civil building in the city.

After the conquest of Granada by the Catholic Monarchs, all the Arab baths began to decline, many being destroyed or converted. For that reason, we have so few today. But El Bañuelo is an exceptional case, since it was destined for a public laundry, leaving its old structure intact.

Later, in the 20th century, the architect and restorer Leopoldo Torres Balbás processed its expropriation and carried out some rehabilitation work.

It is currently a well visited and valued Asset of Cultural Interest and National Monument in Granada.

3 Curiosities about El Bañuelo of Granada

Among all the history of this emblematic place in Granada, we would like to highlight 3 things that stand out:

  • It is said that in Muslim Granada there were up to 21 Arab baths, this being the best preserved of the 4 that the city currently maintains; El Bañuelo, Arab Baths of Hernando de Zafra, Arab Baths of Calle del Agua and Arab Baths of the Comares Palace of the Alhambra.
  • Prior to its current name, it was known as El Hammam al-Yawza or Nogal Bath.
  • At the end of the 19th century, it was called by the diminutive of “Bañuelo” because it was smaller and more modest than the luxurious royal baths of the Comares Palace in the Alhambra.

What is the schedule?

The schedule of El Bañuelo of Granada is from Monday to Sunday, although its hours depend on the date:

  • From September 15 to April 1: from 10am to 5pm
  • From May 1 to September 14: from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

How much does it cost and where to buy the ticket?

As we mentioned, this historical place is open every day of the week and offers a short visit.

The entrance to El Bañuelo of Granada is included in the tourist vouchers “Andalusian Monuments” and “Dobla de Oro”, two vouchers with which you can visit the most important monuments of the city at a reduced price.

  • Andalusian Monuments (€ 5 / person): includes Dar al-Horra Palace, Corral del Carbón, Moorish House (Horno de Oro) and El Bañuelo.
  • Dobla de Oro (€ 19.65 / person): includes the entrance to the general Daytime Alhambra, Corral del Carbón, Dar al-Horra Palace, Moorish Houses (Horno de Oro, Chapiz and Zafra) and El Bañuelo.

Both vouchers must be used within the dates established therein and you can buy them on the Patronato of Alhambra website.

What is the route of the visit?

The visit to El Bañuelo de Granada is a quick visit, which can complement your walking route through the Albaicín, the neighborhood where it is located;)

The hammam is distributed in several rooms in the style of a traditional Arab bath, therefore you will go through:

  • A vestibule; resting place where clothes were left.
  • A refreshment room; where the temperature depended on the season of the year in which it was.
  • A central or warm room; the largest, bounded by horseshoe arches and with a central dome filled with star skylights.
  • A hot room or sauna.

We hope that you will find all this information very useful to visit the Bañuelo of Granada, an 11th century Arab bath that, thanks to its good state of conservation, has allowed us to understand more in depth what the bathing culture was like in Al-Andalus.

Finally, today, there are companies that seek to recreate these historic establishments, but adapting to our habits and society, so after your historical visit to the Bañuelo, it may be a very good idea to indulge yourself in the first person in some Arab Baths 😉

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