Spa Hotel in the 19th Century
Although the German traveller, Jeronimo Münzer praised the Baths of Alhama when he visited them in October 1494, at the end of the Middle Ages, the baths entered a phase of decline until the construction of the great Hotel-Spa in 1848.
In that year, a building of eclectic and classical architecture of three floors was constructed, designed by the architect José Ramón Berenguer, adapting the ancient domed bathrooms and re-using these spaces again.
In the basement area, were located the bathrooms and modern shower facilities, steam baths, general water tank and a public swimming pool. The swimming pool which was separated from the rest of the facilities of the private complex, was destined as a bathing place for the poorest. On the other three floors there were the bedrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, social areas and all kinds of luxuries and comforts for the bathers. In the Hotel Spa were organized different activities for the bathers, as excursions to Sierra Espuña to enjoy healthy and fresh air in addition to taking baths.
In the second half of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century, the modernization of the villa and the Spa produced a deserved reputation which attracted bathers from the whole of Spain. Personalities of high society or illustrious figures such as the Nobel Mr. Santiago Ramón y Cajal, who was a famous doctor who did a new and revolutionary theory about the nerve cells in the brain.
In the 30's the splendour of the Spa was to be ended abruptly with the disappearance of the spring, because of some soundings made in other places of the town. During the Spanish Civil War, the building was turned into a hospital. In the 40's the building was closed and entered in ruins until its demolition in 1972.