COMUNICACIÓN Y PRENSA
A new book about the Baths of al-Andalus. This time however the research tries to provide an effective synthesis. On the basis of written sources in Arabic and of the latest archaeological data the author reconstructs the forms, spaces and functions of the hammam in the Iberian Peninsula.
In this publication, which is the fruit of five years of research at the University of Rennes, Caroline Fournier offers a new perspective with regard not only to the functions that were traditionally associated with baths such as their hygienic, social or religious functions, but also in relation to their public and private domains or their use in the various urban and rural areas in which remains of this peculiar architectural space in al-Andalus have been discovered from the Umayyad to the Nasrid eras.
The book is divided into three parts. The first part offers information about the Roman and Visigoth origins of the baths and about the first Arabic baths in the Iberian Peninsula; the second part focuses on architectural questions, from the choice of the site to the different building designs; the third and final part explores the way they were managed and used: in hygiene, for therapeutic purposes, the symbolism of water in Islam as a metaphor for purification or the bath as a centre of power when located in fortresses or palaces such as Madinat al-Zahra or the Alhambra.
María del Mar Melgarejo