Hamams are places that are heated by a special System and are used for bathing purposes. Hamams go back to Romans where they were named as thermea. When we talk about Turkey And Ottoman, the first thing to remember is Turkish hamams. For centuries, hamams have been the most important elements of Turkish and Ottoman culture. The history of Classical Turkish hamam is as old as the times of Turkish people being nomady. Turks have brought the steam bath tradition to Anatolia and has harmonised this with the Roman bath and Turkish bath has been born from this composition. By the acceptance of Islam of the Turks, cleanliness has become more important and hamams have become vital.
In Arabic, hamam means “that spreads heat, bath”. But Turks has added basin, getting rubbed as well to these properties so hamams for Turks have also been places for spiritual purification . The sections of a Classical Turkish hamam areas follows:
The first part of the hamam that seperates the hamam from the outer world. In the hamam ritual, these are the places in Which people get prepared. Undressing rooms are in this area. After the hamam session, users return to this place. In this atmosphere, tea or coffe is drunk so that liquid that is lost because of hamam is regained.
This is the place between display window and heat area. When entring warmness, it is warm, When leaving it is cold. Before entring heat area, warmness is passed and When returning to cold, also users pass from this place first.
It is the central part of hamam where all the hamam applications are made. It is the heart of a hamam. Sofa, basins and private rooms are all in there. All the bathing, getting rubbed, foam and soap massage are made here. The temperature of the hamam is 35-40 degrees. The average humidity of the environment may rise to 80-90%. A central part usually is in an octagon shape, sometimes hexagon or square.
Private rooms are places that are in the heat area, isolated places for chat purposes.
Sofa and basins are small pools that are filled with water. Hot and cold water are filled to these places and poured down the body.
Furnace: It is the special part of the hamam for private heating. The hot water that is needed for the users of hamam is obtained in the oven.