Museu Municipal de Loulé

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Islamic Baths and the Barreto Stately Home

Banhos Islâmicos e Casa Senhorial dos Barreto (Islamic Baths and the Barreto Stately Home)

The museum housing the Islamic Baths and the Barreto Stately Home collection once looked like an ordinary house with a large garden. When Loulé municipality acquired them in 2006, the writing of this museum’s history began.

After several years of work by archaeologists and the removal of several hundred cubic metres of earth, several structures that had been buried for a long time gradually began to see the light of day. The construction had kept hidden between its walls two great, long-forgotten secrets. The first was the reused structures of a fifteenth-century house, the study of which revealed that it had originally belonged to the Barreto family, nobles of the Morgado de Quarteira.

The second, hidden under the paving and foundations of the stately home, was an imposing, well-preserved public bathhouse (hammam) built against the city wall, both dating back to the Islamic period.