The History of Hamam
A Tradition that’s been revised over the years by a number of cultures, Hammams go beyond their place in Turkish History- Many are popping up today in the U.S. as contemporary versions of their ancient counterparts. These Humid-Room-Meets-Detoxifying-Scrub-And-Cleansing sessions go beyond the typical spa treatment with influences that reflect an authentic ancient ritual.
For centuries Turkish bath continues to exist as one of the major components of the Ottoman and Turkish culture. Historical Turkish hammams that surrounded by embroidered walls on all sides are architectural wonders. Turkish Hammam is of great importance in terms of art and architecture. The Turkish Bath has the same architectural features of the mosque. The architectural style of Turkish hammam has not changed for thousands of years. Some of the architectural features of Roman Bath also continued during the Ottoman period. The hot room of the Turkish hammam (sicaklik) was built on bricks in both periods.
Massage started to become popular in the United States in the 1800′s. Massages have been used to help ease pain and help with sleep. Benefits of massage includes relaxation, stress reduction, sore muscles relief, and increased blood circulation. Massage Therapy is a profession in which the practitioner applies manual techniques, with the intention of positively affecting the health and well-being of the client. Massage is manipulation of soft tissue by holding, causing movement, and/or applying pressure to the body. Therapy is a series of actions aimed at achieving or increasing health and wellness.
In Turkey, hammams were viewed as social centers where special occasions were celebrated. Even wealthy people who had access to hammams in their own homes would frequent public ones for the social and business aspects.
Most hammams had spiritual components, and, according to some religions, washing was an essential part of worship. It is this purification factor that is attributed to making hammams a part of everyday life.
Structure of Hamam
The sicaklik (also known as the hararet, caldarium or hot room) is a large marbletiled room with a Göbek tasi (marble slab called a belly or navel stone) raised in the center, surrounded by alcoves of corners and benches. This is where individuals relax enjoying the skin-softening humidity, and where the scrubs, soaping and massages are administered.
An excellent sanctuary of beauty, the Hammam was mostly a matter of women in the ‘Harem’ (Word referring to all women in the inner circle of the Sultan) in the old palaces. A beautiful place to be, chatting with friends or with the family.
As its current and modern way, the Hammam had been developed in the Maghreb and North Africa (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia), in the Middle East (Egypt, Lebanon and Syria) and the Ottoman Empire (Turkey actually).
In Morocco and Tunisia, the countries where the Hammam is a social phenomenon for decades, there are also many ‘public’ hammams where we can find all the ‘classes’ of the society, sometimes by dozens, but also ‘luxury’ Hammams called ‘SPA’, many of whom are part of five star hotels, and where the service is much more intimate and refined for a wealthy clientele and tourists.
Prepare yourself for the relaxation experience of a lifetime…
A Turkish Baths ritual is a journey of heating, cooling and cleansing the body, promoting a sense of relaxation and a clear mind. At the end of the session many of our clients say they feel exhilaration, euphoria, total relaxation and absolute cleanliness.
This hot room with high levels of humidity, combined with eucalyptus infused steam, allows your body to relax, melts away tension in the muscles and opens pores helping to eliminate toxins.
The Heated Chambers
Tepidarium (Warm Room)
A heat warms the body. This room prepares your body for the hotter Chambers.
Calidarium (Hot Room)
The intermediate heated room allowing the warmth to continue its therapeutic effect on the musculature.
Laconium (hottest Room)
A more relaxing, less intense environment than a modern sauna, the Laconium purifies and detoxifies the body by opening the pores and stimulating the circulation.
Brace yourself when you immerse your body in this cold invigorating pool. The change in temperature on the body improves circulation, flushes out toxins in the muscles and provides a toning effect.
Spend 30 minutes cooling down in the elegant Frigidarium to round off the Turkish experience.
Throughout the Turkish Baths there are showers to wash away any impurities on the body and prepare your skin for the next experience.
The hammam, also known as the Turkish hamam or Turkish bath, is the Middle Eastern variant of a steam bath, which can be categorized as a wet relative of the sauna. Although the first hammams originated in Arabia, and bath culture was a central part of Roman life, Turkey popularized the tradition (and is most often associated with it) by making hammams available to people of all statuses.
What is it like?
The hammam ritual is rather simple, but it does involve several steps–all aimed at cleansing and relaxing–which many modern-day hammams still utilize. Typically, the treatment lasted a set period of time, but visitors were free to lounge in the cooling areas for as long as they liked.
- Relax and Prepare
As you enter the camekan, or entrance room, there are areas for changing and a place to have a cup of tea or a cold drink before or after the bath.
- Adjust to the warmth
Before you encounter water, the specialist will bring you to a transition area, the iliklik, or intermediate room, where you receive your towels and adjust to the heat.
- Full Body Scrub and Soap Massage
From there you enter the hararet, or hot room, which houses the large marble belly or navel stone. Bathers, arranged on marble slabs around the fountain, alternate basking in the high humidity and being vigorously–and thoroughly–scrubbed by an attendant. Following the scrubbing, there is application of special soap (including shampoo, if requested).