Portugal’s only known Islamic bath could become a national monument.
Loulé’s Islamic Baths, considered to be the only of their kind to have been discovered in Portugal, could soon reach a national monument status. The bid by the Loulé Council was published in the official state journal Diário da República on Tuesday. Proposed in May and approved by the Directorate General for Cultural Heritage (DGPC) on October 25.
According to Dália Paulo, municipal director of culture: “The bid aims to give the Islamic Baths even more value. It is very important because we are proposing the status of national monument – the highest when it comes to cultural heritage.”
The Islamic Baths of Loulé were discovered in 2006 during archaeological digs, with further sections being found in 2013 during renovation works in the historic town centre. The baths are believed to date back to the final period of Islamic occupation in the Algarve (between the 12th and 13th century), having later been used as houses in the 15th century, according to Loulé Council.
The local authority adds that the baths are “unique” in Portugal and are the most complete remains of these kinds of baths in the Iberian Peninsula.
Hopes are that the baths will be ready to receive visitors by April 2022, which will also mark the opening of Ombria Resort, the start of a new project called “Quarteirão Cultural”, part of the Algarvensis Geopark Loulé-Silves-Albufeira, and see the opening of a paleontology laboratory and the “reformulation” of the municipal museum.