Inside a bar in Seville, a hidden 12th-century hammam is found
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Sunday, July 14, 2024

Inside a bar in Seville, a hidden 12th-century hammam is found
Workers look at an old pipe at the Giralda Bar in Seville on February 22, 2021 where an Islamic 12th-century bathhouse was uncovered during renovations works. CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP.

SEVILLE (AFP).- They had only just begun renovating the bar in Seville when they made a startling discovery: the building housed a perfectly preserved 12th-century hammam, its walls covered with beautiful paintings.

What tipped them off was a star-shaped skylight that emerged within the first few blows of a hammer when the work first began inside Giralda, a bar in the heart of this southern Spanish city.

The discovery was "completely unexpected", explained Alvaro Jimenez, the archaeologist assigned to monitor all such renovation works undertaken near Seville's Cathedral, a protected area.

In total, they uncovered 88 skylights, star-shaped and octagonal, in the roof of this Moorish-styled bar with tiled walls that takes its name from La Giralda -- once the minaret of the Great Mosque that now serves as the Cathedral's bell tower.

And there was more to follow, with workers uncovering beautiful artworks on the walls of the room, which measures 200 square metres (2,100 square foot), as well as the former hammam's warm, hot and cold rooms.

More than 800 years old, the thermal baths along with their artwork, sculptures and wall fittings were perfectly preserved.

That was thanks to the work of an early 20th-century architect called Vicente Traver who carefully hid it away when installing two extra floors.

A living museum

"We thought the architect had destroyed it but we realise now he saved it," Jimenez told AFP.

"He saved what he found and preserved it for the future."

Conquered by the Almohad dynasty in 1147, Seville was one of the two capitals of their empire alongside Marrakesh, in what is now Morocco.

"Seville Cathedral is built on the remains of the Almohad Aljama mosque, the construction of which began in 1172, and which was inaugurated in 1198 with the completion of the minaret, La Giralda," he said.

"The baths are located in the southern part of the city that the Almohads transformed into their political, religious and economic centre."

Now visible above the bar's existing tiles are ornate walls and engraved white arches.

The bar, which will reopen soon, has been transformed into a living museum, completely restyled to reflect its history: a place to reflect on the Islamic artwork and architecture, as the city's residents would have done eight centuries ago.

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

February 25, 2021

Kangaroo painting Australia's oldest Aboriginal rock art

Inside a bar in Seville, a hidden 12th-century hammam is found

Masterpiece by Vincent van Gogh emerges after a century in the same private collection to make auction debut in Paris

Rare Thomas Moran watercolor to be unveiled at the Amon Carter Museum

M+ receives new donation from collector Hallam Chow, consisting of works by Asian contemporary artists

Anime is booming. So why are animators living in poverty?

Whitney lays off 15 workers amid mounting financial losses

Woodmere Art Museum extends 'Group '55 and Midcentury Modernism in Philadelphia' exhibition

Heritage Auctions celebrates return to Asia Week New York

Tribal Art Fair Amsterdam launches online this Spring 2021

Perfect whisky collection sells for over $9 million at auction

Martian meteorites, fossilized skeletons share spotlight in Heritage Nature & Science Platinum Night Auction

George Eastman Museum receives 20 reels of rare 35mm nitrate films

Creator Projects launches an affordable box of artworks by twelve international artists

National Air and Space Museum receives $10 million gift from Kislak Family Foundation

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, appoints Christian Schörnich as Chief Operating Officer

Vaccinated Spain pensioners revel in rare theatre trip

Exhibition of Mariette Pathy Allen's "Transformations" opens at ClampArt

Farley to lead dance academy in Los Angeles

Love classical music? Anthony Tommasini recommends contemporary composers

You're new here, aren't you? Digital theater's unexpected upside

Charles Burns' RAW cover, a Moebius Silver Surfer and a full Valérian star in Heritage Auctions' event

Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation elects Thomas R. Ellis and Brian Robinson to Board of Trustees

Rose Art Museum receives record number of gifts of art for its 60th anniversary

Safe and Secure Buying Property Investments Plans in Sharjah

Must-Read Tips from a Shadowlands Mythic+ Pro

Tips to hire the best Scarborough plumbers

Why Foreigners prefer Hair transplant in Turkey?

Buying Cigarettes Online: Why It's the Best Choice


Most Popular K-pop Entertainment Company

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful