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Photographer's Note

The hammam (Arabic ḥammām حمّام, 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. They had played an important role in cultures of the Middle-East, serving as places of social gathering, ritual cleansing and as architectural structures, institutions, and (later) elements with special customs attached to them. Europeans learned about the Hammam via contacts with Turkey hence the European name for it: "Turkish" hammam.

In Western Europe, the Turkish bath as a method of cleansing the body and relaxation was particularly popular during the Victorian era. The process involved in taking a Turkish bath is similar to that of a sauna, but is more closely related to the bathing practices of the Romans.

Taking a Turkish bath firstly involves relaxing in a room (known as the warm room) that is heated by a continuous flow of hot dry air allowing the bather to perspire freely. Bathers may then move to an ever hotter room (known as the hot room) before splashing themselves with cold water. After performing a full body wash and receiving a massage, bathers finally retire to the cooling-room for a period of relaxation.

In Turkey, the advent of modern plumbing systems, showers, and bathtubs in homes caused the importance of hammams to fade in recent times.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: mustafa ak (aytu_k) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 68 W: 8 N: 32] (223)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2006-02-18
  • Categories: Architecture
  • Exposure: f/6.3, 1/100 seconds
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2007-05-24 1:40
Viewed: 4761
Points: 14
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