Bath Time

COURTESY OF HAMMAM BANOS ARABES

HUMID HAVEN: The 15th century Hamman Baños Arabes

The moors ruled Andalucia in southern Spain from the 8th to the 12th centuries, and among their more sybaritic legacies are the hammams (bathhouses) found in the city of Granada. They were originally inspired by Roman baths, but the Moorish versions took opulence to new heights — featuring stuccoed alcoves, lavish geometric mosaics and horseshoe arches. The functions of the hammams weren't strictly utilitarian either: they were used by both sexes as places to drink tea and socialize as well as to maintain personal hygiene. For cloistered Muslim women, a morning at the hammam was a welcome chance to groom,...

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