What is the Turkish Bath?

What is the Turkish Bath? Benefits of the Hammam!

Turkish bath is seen as a very mysterious and interesting place all over the world. Hammam (Arabic حمّام, hammâm) or Turkish Bath as it became popular in Europe, is a building with hot and cold water heated by a special arrangement and used for washing purposes.

It was very popular especially in the Ottoman period.
It was very popular especially in the Ottoman period.


Baths have an important place in Turkish culture. It is one of the cultural elements unique to Turks in the world. Turkish baths lived their golden age as an indispensable part of daily life and a means of socialization during the Ottoman period. Although there are still baths today, they do not attract as much attention as in the Ottoman period. Unlike the baths used in the Roman period, there were separate baths for men and women in the Ottoman period.

Staff at the Turkish Bath

The women who work in the baths and wash the customers are called “Natır“. The men who work in the baths and wash the customers are called “Tellak“.

You may have seen “Tellaks” in many movies. The “tellak” and “natirs” who often wash clients also perform massages that are famous and may be harsh for some. After this massage, people feel very light.

Traditional Turkish bath
Traditional Turkish bath

Architectural Parts of the Turkish Bath

Turkish bath is divided into three main sections. These sections are;

  • Dressing Place,
  • Bathing Place,
    • Cold Section,
    • Heat Section (Hammam)
  • Heating Place (Külhan)

Dressing Place: There is a wide sofa and partitioned benches around it. People who wash, lie down and rest on these benches.

Bathing Place: It is called the bath section, which is entered by passing through the cold. This place is also divided into some sections: the place where everyone is washed one by one, called “Kurna head”, and the closed and solitary bathing cells called “Halvet”. There is also a “belly stone” on which you lie down and sweat. This is the place that was built higher than the marble-covered floor of the bath and can have various geometric shapes.

Heating Place (Külhan): It is under the bath where the fire burns. The flame and smoke rising from the fire passes through special paths under the marble floor, through the walls and comes out of a chimney. It’s kind of like a sauna.

Turkish hamam

One of the most frequently asked questions: Is there only Women’s Hammam?

Answer: yes! Although some baths are mixed for men and women, most of them have separate men’s and women’s sections. One of the most frequently asked questions is whether there is a female hammam or not. As we have just mentioned, you can go to the baths, which have a women-only section.

What are the benefits of the Turkish bath:

  • Strengthens the bones.
  • Helps to remove toxins.
  • Accelerates blood circulation.
  • Good for colds.
  • Keeps the skin young and fresh.
  • Relieves muscle tension and pain and opens restricted joints.
  • Supports the immune system Increases lymphatic system cleaning.
  • Relieves stress and relaxes your mind.
  • Increases the heartbeat and the work of metabolism.
  • Removes the dead skin from the skin.
  • Opens sinus congestion caused by allergies or asthma.
  • Sweating and heating the adipose tissue help healthy weight loss.

What should I pay attention to when going to the bath?

  • Before entering the Turkish bath, it is necessary not to eat too much and not to drink too much liquid.
  • Considering that there will be water loss in the bath, the required amount of water should be drunk.
  • Those who feel sick and sluggish should avoid going to the hammam.
  • Hammam is not recommended for those with heart disease.
  • You should not stay in the hammam for a long time.

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