Photo Diary: Granada’s Hammam El Bañuelo (Moorish Baths)

As soon as I walked into Granada’s 11th century Moorish public baths I knew I had finally found the Pinterest worthy bathroom design of my dreams! Spacious, natural materials, and plenty of sunlight, yet still soft and romantically lit. The stark, evocative ruins are truly breathtaking and so much fun to photograph! Compared to the Alhambra, the Hammam El Bañuelo isn’t as overrun with tourists, which fortunately meant we had the place to ourselves to explore at our leisure.

The little cookie cutter shaped holes in the ceiling once had stained-glass louvers that attendants opened and closed with sticks to regulate the heat and steaminess. It’s a shame that many of the baths were destroyed when the Christians conquered the Moors, as it was thought that conspiracies were bred amongst the bathers.

Hammams played an important role in the Moorish community serving not only as bathhouses for the average working -class but also as social meeting points and though genders were strictly segregated, class distinctions were forgotten as elites and commoners gathered together to pass through the cold room, the warm room (massages!), and finally the hot steam room. Now where can I find a fluffy white towel and some wooden slippers…

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