Turkish sauna

The wet Turkish sauna, Hammam, comes from the Middle East. Contemporary version is a wet sauna or steam bath. Similar bathing practices closely relate among the ancient Romans. In the Western Europe, the wet Turkish sauna became popular during the Victorian era. It served as a place where social meetings and ritual cleansing gatherings took place.

 

Rituals of steam bath

Taking the Turkish bath begins with relaxing in a warm room, then bather moves to a hotter room, and, at the end, retires to the cooling room. Similar to the Finnish sauna, wet sauna in Ottoman culture has religious aspect as an annex to a mosque.

Original Hammam has three basic connected rooms similar to Roman sauna structures. First room, tepidaurum was used for showering and preparing for the hot room. The main and hottest room was sicaklik with a large dome and small glass-decorated windows. A third room, sogukluk was used for relaxation, dressing up and refreshing with a cup of tea.

Hammam was not exclusively for men. Complexes contained separate quarters for both, men and women.

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