Everything you need to know about Turkish bath (Aka Hammam)
Hammam is an Arabic word meaning public bathroom. After Turks arrival to Anatolia and merging their culture with the Eastern Roman culture, this structure had taken its name as Hammam. Its history goes back to Sumerian and Hittites. In ancient ages, in the Anatolian civilizations, it was built around hot water fountains, and thus served as a continuous source of hot water. In Turkish hammams the inner was heated by fire. And as natural, in modern times, it is heated using a variety of heating technologies.
Features of Turkish Bath/Hammam
Most important is they have continuously hot temperature, popular saunas of our times root back to Hammam. There are a couple of reasons in keeping the environment hot, with hygiene being the fundamental one. However, relaxing the muscles and the nerve system due to hot temperature has more of an importance in Hammam culture. In addition to this, skin cells can disengage easily due to hot temperature and moisture, and dead skin can be easily thrown out. Hammams mostly have marble surfaces. Being a white colored stone, marble represents cleanliness and can endure high temperatures. And of course, it is the most durable material to use in intensive moisture. Marble being added to the Hammam culture by Romans, is known as one of the most important pieces to the Hammam architecture at the time. Though it has changed in architecture with Seljuks integrating with Roman civilization and Islam culture having inroads to Turkish culture, it is counted as a common cultural treasure heritage.
He who gets into Hamam sweats
This idiom is a Turkish proverb referring to heat in Hammam. It is a shared environment having a temperature of 10 degrees Celsius above body temperature. This results in relaxation and softening of skin. Hammams have basin of a bath serving for personal care, and central massage platforms used by bath attendants for peeling the body with a special bath glove. Central massage platform can serve one or more people to lie on. The person lying on this platform is washed and peeled by the bath attendant. Peeling is done to remove dirt from the skin by using special hard fiber linen, bath gloves and soap. And of course, bath attendants’ job is not limited to this, they are good masseurs as well. They help eliminating the body tension by massaging muscles and joints loosed by high temperature. Basin of the bath serves as the private section for personal cleansing. And again in the same section, the cleansing is completed with a private faucet.
Tools used in the Hammam
Turkish bath towel (Aka Peshtemal), peeling glove (in Turkish KESE), natural soap and slippers (or bath clogs) are the must tools in a Hammam. Due to the shared environment, Peshtemal is wrapped around the belly and covers the body to the knees; and is an element of Turkish culture. Peshtemal a traditional textile product with a plaid fabric, is being provided to consumers with contemporary designs in modern times. It serves as the most fundamental and common piece in a Hammam and also a personal care item.
Bath glove is a textile product like Peshtemal, however due to its peeling purpose to remove the dead and dirty skin, it has a more rigid fabric. Soap with its important presence in Turkish culture, is a key element in Hammam as well. Cosmetic products are not used in general in Hammams. Even, smelling soap entering a Hammam is known as a rule of thumb. Turkish baths, together with the Finnish baths are one of the most authentic and delightful places on earth. Be prepped with your peshtemal, to go on a delightful journey of sweating, relaxing and cleansing.