An archaeological treasure from the 12th century was discovered in a bar in Seville

A Spanish architect was working on the remodeling of a building in Seville. They wanted to do the necessary renovations as the place would soon be a brewery. However, something happened that forced them to change their plans. The work team discovered that the skeleton of the place had been an Arab bath a few centuries ago. They later learned that the place was being renovated at the beginning of the 20th century because they were turning it into a hotel. In this work this archaeological treasure from the 12th century was hidden.

archaeological treasure from the 12th century
Arab baths discovered in the works of the Giralda brewery in Seville, PACO PUENTES / EL PAÍS
They found a Turkish bath from AD 1100

They also discovered a real treasure, which was a Hamán or Turkish bath from 1100. The walls are entirely painted with figures with geometric shapes, and the motifs were also made with a paint called Almagra, which is a reddish color. Continuing with the design, they were all done on a white background. Each of the designs from the Islamic world represent something that relates to paradise.

This is the bathroom found so far with the most complete decoration. Earlier similar discoveries only had a few sectors painted on the walls or in the vault. Some even only had the baseboards. The decoration of this bathroom is complete and original.

The importance of the archaeological treasure of the 12th century made it necessary to change plans for reform

The reform that was originally adopted did not materialize. The importance of the discovery forced archeology to be given priority. When they discovered the first skylights, they decided to change the course of the restoration. The place will act as a bar, but respect the decoration of the Arabic bath.

They found a total of 88 skylights that offer five different shapes. Each of them is surrounded by paintings that respect a single design. It’s an eight-pointed star. The interior of each arch was decorated with a zigzag that represents water.

Arab baths
Lacería painting in one of the vaults of the ‘Hamán’ discovered in Seville after removing the elements that hid it since the reform of 1928. PACO PUENTES / EL PAÍS

From the beginning, they carried out the restoration work taking into account the original design and decoration of the Hamán. To do this, they relied on Christian documents from 1281 describing this type of bath. Also in testimonies by the historian Rodrigo Caro from the 17th century.

The most important thing is that after a wall collapsed, they found an open door to the past. The good state of preservation of the place means that the premises can be converted into a real museum disguised as a brewery.

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