Built around 1150, the Arab Baths were a hidden treasure trove of local heritage until their restoration and opening to the public in 1998. They are located underground in the Convent de la Merced, a building exchanged by the City Council in 2004 for a new monastery for the Clarissa nuns who lived there. Since the thirteenth century it has suffered a variety of uses, even being converted into the convent store room.
These baths, preserved almost in their entirety, constitute one of the few examples of Islamic public architecture which still live on today in the Autonomous Valencian Region.
A gift of God
Although there were other Muslim baths in the city or hammâm, these were the most important, being close to the Mosque and the main city gate, La Lucentina. Travellers arriving could bathe here before praying and entering the walled city.
For the Islamic world, water is a gift of God, linked to wisdom and purity. Andalusian culture turned this ritual into a pleasurable practice, in which oils and essences are used. Additionally, the baths did not only serve as a place of rest, but also for socialising.
The entrance is in Paseo Eres de Saint Llúcia. The baths are divided, as is traditional in these facilities, into three parallel rooms, temperate, hot and cold, separated by arches and columns and covered by barrel vaults with skylights. During the visit, a recorded voice explains the different uses of each area, while lights and sounds recreate the atmosphere of the original baths.
- Address: Paseo de les Eres de Santa Llúcia, 14
- Postal code: 03202
- Phone: +34 965 45 28 87
Type of visit: Museum – Museums
- Tuesday to Saturday, from 10.00 to 14.00 and from 15.00 to 18.00.
- Sundays and Public Holidays, from 10.00 to 14.00
- Closed on Mondays.
- 24th and 31st December Public Holidays.
- 25th December and 1st January closed.
- General Admission: 1€
- Students and Groups, Youth Pass, Senior Citizens and Large Families: 0,50€
- Free Entry: on Sundays and for children (under 6 years), people in possession of an Elche City Council Gold Card, teachers and accredited monitors, disabled people and people with reduced mobility.
- Museum Pass: The Museum Pass costs 8€ and allows the visitor access to all City Council museums. May be purchased in any museum in the city.