Paolo FORMAGLINI / Filippo GIANSANTI
(Dipartimento di Architettura, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy)
As the meaning of spas in the classical period, the public baths were a reference point for social life in the medieval Islamic culture, where the relation between Muslim citizens and water was a very important aspect. In addition to the hygienic aspect, the water had also two strong symbolic values: the first, in “sure” which referred to a paradisiac premium; the second was for its purifying value as an important part of rites of ablution required before praying. The result is that public baths become an important urban element and they can reveal ancient traces about the urban context.
The Hamman of Granada, called “Banuelo”, is one of the most representative because of many factors: its good state of preservation and its considerable size allow well to take the suggestion that its plan fits in a perfect rectangle.
The aim of the study presented here is to compare, starting and exploiting the digital survey techniques, the conformity of this Hamman with the known case studies of the baths and to focus on the urban-environmental relations in this area.
These aspects are very important for the purposes of this research: the presence of an archetypal and so great bath, confirms that the typical model, with the entrance not in line with the main road, is certainly indicative of the presence of an important street, slightly away from the current one (Carrera del Darro).
Considering the distribution of this Hamman in the city, the lack of mosques in the area, the proximity of to the city walls and the size of the bath, it is plausible to hypothesize the presence of a single complex with its own city door. This study will present a specific hypothesis about the ancient shape and organization of Granada in this part of the town.
Keywords: Survey, Granada, Banuelo, Bath, Urban-environmental relations