Is Cordoba home to the oldest Arab baths in Spain?

THE Junta has launched an investigation to determine whether or not the Arab Baths of the Pescaderia de Cordoba are the oldest in Spain.

The bathrooms of the Fish are Moorish baths located on Cara Street in the city of Cordoba, currently closed to the public, pending on study and restoration.

The Moorish baths occupy houses number 39, 41, 43 and 45 on Cardenal Gonzalez Street and 16, 18, 20 and 22 on Cara Street. A historical complex that was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1954.

It is believed that the baths date from the 10th century, making them the oldest in Spain, as the architect Felix Hernandez indicated in 1960. However, more recent studies indicate that the Islamic foundations are from the 12th century.

To this end, the Regional Ministry of Culture and Historical Heritage has commissioned two projects with the aim of clarifying the date of these Moorish baths or hammam in Cordoba.

With an overall budget of €70,000, as announced by Cristina Villanueva, the provincial delegate for Culture and Historical Heritage, an archaeological survey using multi-image photogrammetry will seek ‘to complete the knowledge we have of the baths archaeologically’ and ‘a ACAD planimetry will serve as a basis for us to draft the necessary projects to make the space visitable.’

It is hoped that the commissioned archaeological survey will verify the initial interpretation made by Felix Hernandez in 1960, which places the baths from the time of Abderraman III, making them the oldest baths in Spain.

It is also believed that the baths were in use in Christian times since two more rooms were added, in the Mudejar style, and are cited as Bathhouses of the Pescaderia, taking its name from the now-defunct Puerta de la Pescaderia.

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