Several hundreds of years ago, the city of Valencia – and much of the Iberian Peninsula, really – was under Muslim control. While most remnants of those times have long faded, you can still catch a glimpse of them at the 14th-century Admiral’s Baths (Baños Arabes del Almirante), the only ones of their kind left in the seaside city.
Although these particular baños were actually constructed just after Valencia came under Catholic rule, they remain very representative of Mudéjar architecture, and of hammam baths found elsewhere in Spain and the world. Indeed, they are composed of common hammam features, including rooms of cold, warm and hot temperatures (the latter being sauna-like). Meanwhile, you’ll see other typically Arabic bath-style details such as the horseshoe-shaped arches and the geometric skylights.
The Admiral’s Baths weren’t only used hundreds of years ago, either, but actually remained in use until the 20th century, when they changed hands various times before becoming public property. Now well restored, they provide a pretty and peaceful look into the city and country’s curious past.
Situated in Valencia’s historic center, the baths are open Tuesday through Sunday, and for just a few hours each day. Note that the hard-to-find entrance is located on Calle de los Baños del Almirante (Carrer dels Banys de l'Almirall, in Valencian) as opposed to just Calle de Almirante (a totally different street). Once you venture down the alleyway-like street, though, you can’t miss the lone arched, Mudéjar-style entryway.