Hammam Bath Towels

29. June 2016

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Hammam Bath Towel

History of Turkish Bath Ritual

Turkish bath ritual, like many of them is inherited from Ottoman Empire. The steam bath in Ottoman times had three basic functions: a place for social gathering; ritual cleansing, which is both spiritual and physical cleanliness; and an architectural witness to the sultan's greatness, power and wealth. Turkish baths are rooms covered with marble from sealing to the floors in order to contain the consistency of the room from stream and heat.

Turkish bath or hammams, is a variant of the Roman bath, steam bath, sauna, or Russian banya, however it is distinguished by a focus on water, as distinct from ambient steam.

The most impressive examples of hammam architecture are found in Istanbul, capital of the Ottoman Empire and former capital of the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines considered themselves the direct cultural and political successors to the Roman Empire, where public baths were a staple feature of the community. The Ottomans adopted and continued this practice when they conquered the Byzantines in 1450. Valuable materials were used not only in the ruler's private hammam, but also in the public baths such as decorating the sinks and taps with gold.

 

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Turkish Bath

Architecture

A Turkish hammam consists of three separate rooms: the warm room, the hot room and the cooling-off room. Usually the visitors of hammams are welcomed by a bath attendant, who gives them a cotton wrap- hammam towels or pestamals, special wooden clogs, which prevented slipping on the wet floor, and a loofah for massaging.

The main evolutionary change between Roman baths and Turkish baths concerned the cool room. The Roman cooling-off area included a quite cold-water pool in which patrons would immerse themselves before moving on to the warmer rooms. Ottoman customs put a high priority on cleanliness but preferred running water to immersion baths, so the coldwater pool was dispensed with. Also, the sequence of rooms was revised so that people generally used the cool room after the warmer rooms and massages, rather than before. Whereas the Romans used it as preparation, the Ottomans used it for refreshment (drinks and snacks are served) and recovery.

The hot room usually has a large dome decorated with small glass windows that create a half-light; it also contains a large marble stone called ‘göbek taşı’ (middle stone) at the centre that the customers lie on, and niches with fountains in the corners. This room is for soaking up steam and getting scrub massages. The hot room is used for washing up with soap and water and the cold room is to relax, dress up, have a refreshing drink, sometimes tea, and, where available, a nap in a private cubicle after the massage.

 

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Turkish Hammam - Sauna

The middle stone (gobek tasi) is located in the middle of the hot room. It is in height 45- 50 cm and covered with marble, like the rest of the room. Usually the middle stone is in octagonal or rectangular shape. The domes of bathing places are decorated with circular or star-shaped windows. These windows that called as elephant eye, allow the light to enter at any time of the day.

Overall, Turkish Baths unlike other cultures were built for both royals and citizens to take a full body bath. The rooms are relatively less luxurious compared to other cultures, in order to enable people to relax but still all needed tools such as soap, loofahs and slippers were provided.

Nowadays, Turkish Hammams are still available for those who prefer a different and relaxing experience.

As Harem Bath, our passion is to make this lovely ancient culture alive and to introduce this to the ones who do not know!...

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Hammam Towel

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