Introduction - Banys de l'Almirall
The building called the Baños del Almirante, or the Admiral's Baths, is a medieval construction that was used as a public bath. It was founded around 1313, when the nobleman Pere de Vila-rasa obtained a permit from King James II to build a bath on a plot of land that he owned. The baths that Pere de Vila-Rasa built have a similar distribution to an Arab steam bath (a "hamman"): a vestibule or rest area; three large vaulted rooms (cold, warm and hot rooms) which constitute the warm and humid area of the bath; latrines and a boiler room.
In the 19 th century, the different owners of the baths made significant renovations on the property. They installed marble bathtubs in individual bath cubicles, therefore compartmentalising the three steam rooms. The building was also given an Oriental look, by constructing an arched entranceway and decorating the interior with tiles like those from the Nazar dynasty of Granada. The vestibule was the only room of the baths that did not survive these renovations.
In 1959, the establishment closed its doors for the last time, after having operated as a public bath for more than six centuries, an extraordinary feat. Between 1961 and 1963 a restoration project was carried out, which eliminated its 19 th century transformations, except for the entrance façade. After 1963 it was used as a gymnasium. In 1985 the Generalitat Valenciana (the regional government of Valencia) bought the building and in 1999 decided to undertake the recovery and restoration project. Work was begun in 2001.