A brief history of the 'hammam'

What is the meaning of 'hammam' as in our logo? Here is some more information about the ancient ritual that dates back to the Roman and Ottoman empires but thankfully has been preserved to this day...

Hammam means ‘spreader of warmth’ 

'Hammam' literally translates from arabic to 'bath'

It is a a communal bathhouse, also known as a Turkish bath...a room full of steam where you relax and can also be massaged

The classic hammam usually has a domed roof with light filtering through little portals in the ceiling.

The Roman baths were larger pools but the Ottomans made a few changes adding running water from taps in the wall and a separation for men and women, as they were originally used for the purpose of deep cleansing before prayer

The hammam became a place where people not only washed but would socialize, relax and emerge feeling new after spending time with a thin cloth around them in the hot marble clad steam room

It was a place where secrets were shared...It is said that when the sultans of the Ottoman empire met in the hammam, they would turn on all the taps to drown out the sound of what was being discussed in their important meetings

Women also used the hammam to share secrets and socialize. They attended to prepare for special events, bringing fruit and staying all day sometimes to make sure their skin was soft and glowing

So what exactly happens?...

The first room you enter, known as the 'Camekan' is where you undress and are given a cloth and slippers to change into. Next, you enter the main hot room or 'Hararet' where you lie down to sweat as your pores open. You are then scrubbed and this is is the exfoliating stage. Then, your whole body is massaged and washed with a cloth and soap and rinsed. Finally, you are led to the 'Sogukluk' or cool room, where you relax and are usually offered some tea or a refreshing drink

There's nothing like the feel and look of your skin after a little time in the hammam, but as they say, when you feel good on the inside you look good on the outside too and it's also a wonderfully liberating experience for the mind...the sound of the water flowing out of the taps, the copper bowls, the steam filtering up towards the light, the heat on your body...the whole ritual is a deeply relaxing, enjoyable event.