Back in the 10th century, Cordoba was home to as many as one million residents and up to 600 Moorish bathhouses, the latter a true symbol of the southern Spanish city’s importance in those times. Once serving as the bathhouse of the caliphs, Cordoba’s Alcazar Califal Baths are among the very few that still remain today. In fact, they spent centuries hidden until in 1961 they were rediscovered and restored.
The hammam, as this type of Arab bathhouse is often called, consists of various rooms, most notably, in the Califal Baths’ case, the cool room. Back in its day, it had the most elaborate features, and is where the caliphs would spend most of their time bathhouse time. The cool and hot rooms displayed typical hammam characteristics such as the star-windowed ceilings and horseshoe-shaped arches, both elements that you can still see today. During your visit you can explore these serene spaces, as well as learn more during an informative introductory video.
The venue is rather small and can therefore be visited fairly quickly. Note that the baths are free to enter from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., Monday through Friday. They are located just over a block away from the Mosque-Cathedral, but keep your eyes peeled, as they may go easily unnoticed given they are situated below ground.