TRADITION OF PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL PURIFICATION IN TURKISH CULTURE
“Whoever wants to serve the human body must first pay attention to his soul.”
In the life of the Turks, hammams are not only a place of washing, but also a place of health, social and cultural activities. The use of water, which is one of humanity’s vital needs for health purposes, has led to the construction of aquatic spaces such as hammams and thermal springs. The hammam, one of the types of construction, meets the needs of people, in particular washing and cleaning. Furthermore, hammams have been shaped in every period in accordance with the religious beliefs of societies and have become part of social life.
The word “hammam” comes from the words hammam = bath in Arabic and hamam = hot in Hebrew. Hammam itself can be described as a place for purification and healing.
Hammams are similar to the architecture of the mosque in terms of architecture. For example, the dome of the hammam resembles the dome of the mosque. According to Islam, a body cannot enter a water with another body, because that water is polluted. Because of this faith, in Islam, the habit of bathing and ablution in flowing waters was born.
In the Turkish baths, the water is heated from the floor and is used for cleaning, while the Roman baths were built on a source of natural hot water and generally used for health. In short, although the Turkish hammam resembles the Roman bath in terms of architecture, it differs in terms of function and purpose.
Hammams have a very important place in the life of Turkish society in terms of physical and spiritual / religious cleanliness, as well as the stop for many social events related to entertainment, birth and marriage. And the habit of bathing in the hammam is a traditional custom that has been handed down for hundreds of years until today.
In short the hammams in terms of the following health situations are known to be good;
- Relieves stress, relaxes and soothes
- Relieves muscle tension and pain and relieves constricted joints
- Supports the immune system
- Improves cleansing of the lymphatic system.
- Increases blood circulation.
- Metabolic activity of the body.
- Reduces sinus fatigue due to swelling, asthma or allergic conditions.
- Keeps the skin young and fresh.
- Steam heat One of the therapies used in recent years against cancer and infectious diseases is the heat steam and steam baths.
- Steam baths are very effective in cleansing the body of fat storage toxins.
- During sweating, the steam effectively removes toxins from the surface of the skin.
- The application of steam improves vascular flow, increases oxygenation at the cellular level
Some Historical Hammams of Istanbul
Hammam designed in 1584 by the architect Mimar Sinan, it was built by Sultana Nurbanu, mother of Sultan Murat III. Çemberlitaş Hammam has two sections where men and women can wash separately.
It is located near the Circled Column, almost 20 m. And around the Hammam there are other Ottoman monuments such as Köprülü Mehmet Paşa Mosque, Medrese of Köprülü (Koranic school), Köprülü Library, Mausoleum of Sultan Mahmut II., Atik Ali Paşa Mosque, Medrese of Atik Ali Paşa etc. Turkish bath was built by the mother of Sultan Murat III. in 1584. Hammam, attracted by groups of tourists and local visitors, has all the characteristics of classical Ottoman culture.
Çemberlitaş Hammam, open every day between hours; 09:00 – 23:00
Address: Vezirhan Cad. No: 8 Çemberlitaş / Istanbul
Tel: (00 90) 212 520 18 50
We do not know for sure who was the architect of the Turkish bath that was built with the order of Sultan Mahmut I. Like the Çemberlitaş Hammam, this one also has two sections, one for men and the other for women. .
It is one of the most famous Turkish baths built in 1741 by Sultan Mahmut I. to finance the expenses of the Hagia Sophia library.
World-famous hammam is visited by prominent personalities, artists, writers. Among them were also Edward VIII., English king, William, German chancellor of the nineteenth century, Cameron Diaz, Kate Moss, John Travolta, George Soros, etc.
Cağaloğlu Hammam open every day between hours for women; 08:00 – 20:00 / for men 08:00 – 22:00
Address: Prof. İsmail Gürkan Cad. No: 34 Cağaloğlu / Istanbul
Tel: (00 90) 212 522 24 24
Galatasaray Hammam which was built in 1715, as architecture brings classical Turkish style and is located almost in the center of the city. The women’s section is open between 08: 00-19: 00, the men’s section 08: 00-22: 00.
Address: Turnacıbaşı Sok. No: 24 Galatasaray / Istanbul
T: +90. 212 252 42 42
Hammam of Hürrem Sultan
It is an elegant, enchanting, historical Turkish bath and well known like the other hammams in Istanbul. The hammam’s name owes to the wife of Sultan Suleiman, the Magnificent. Hürrem, who wanted to have a Turkish bath near the Topkapı Palace, had this magnificent hammam built in 1556 by the architect Mimar Sinan between Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. Like the other Turkish baths it has two sections and 75 m long. It was used until 1910 and then as a warehouse and carpet shop.
In 2010 it was restored to its original state and opened to the public under the name “Hürrem Sultan’s Hammam”.
Address: Cankurtaran Mahallesi Ayasofya Meydani No: 2 Fatih / Istanbul
T: +90 .212 517 35 35