By Rafael Estefania
18th June 2021
Last summer in Spain, as the coronavirus pandemic ground business to a halt at the Cervicería Giralda tapas bar in Seville’s historical centre, the owners of the 98-year-old eatery decided the time was right for some much-needed renovation. As workers began peeling back the plaster covering the bar’s soaring columns and chipping away at its vaulted ceilings, they were astonished by what they found.
Buried beneath the paint were the remains of a remarkably ornate Islamic hammam from the 12th Century, complete with skylights carved in the form of eight-pointed stars and elaborate red ochre paintings of geometric motifs representing the night sky.