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.