If asked foreigners what occurs to them firstly when mentioned Turkey or the Ottoman Empire, the majority shall answer as “Turkish bath”. Baths maintained their presence as one of the most important and colorful items of the culture of the Ottoman Empire and Turkey for centuries. Baths which took place among the most beautiful works of Ottoman architecture, spread all over Turkey but in general gained intensity in Istanbul and Bursa.
Bath is a very important part of the Anatolian culture. It got on the stage of history with Sumerians six thousand years ago and then became a part of cultural history of almost every civilization mentioned in history. It was said as the most significant and most common “Turkish”. Turkish bath is a structure which emerged from the combination of Turkish bath tradition with bathhouse culture of Anatolia in the second half of 15th Century.
It is known to be about 15 thousand baths only in Istanbul with the baths which was built around the country from this date in 17th century. During this period, people watched an opportunity and for many reasons (the soul, the bride, groom, votive, forty, Sunna bath, partial to a girl in bath…) they went to the baths. The baths were places in which all types of pleasure and entertainment were experienced in closed Ottoman society. The baths often used to be reserved for women in the daytime but the men used to take a bath in the early morning or at night.
Today, there are baths in some regions of Turkey that has witnessed to date still works… It is possible to find historical baths and bath attendants especially in Istanbul, in many cities (Bursa, Afyon, Kayseri, Mardin, etc.). For those who want to live pleasures of the bath that is an important part of Turkish culture, especially in Istanbul, public baths bearing the traces of Ottoman architecture are among the favored venues liked by domestic and foreign tourists. Besides our historical baths, today’s modern Turkish baths enable our culture to exist.
Furthermore, many luxury hotels offer this pleasure to their guests with the small Turkish baths that are operated within the structure of them. There are many benefits of the bath for human health. In bath that is the most suitable place for cleaning with hot water and soap but provided not for a long time, it gives a sense of comfort to rub or wash the sweating body with fiber or pouch because it accelerate the blood circulation.
Turkish bath culture has become the head space in literature, cinema, memories and mysterious world of orientalism. Bath is not only a cleaning place with its inlaid walls and domed structure surrounded by four sides, but also the symbol of a culture that transmitted over generations and lived with an indispensable part of social life, bath attendant, rubber, rough. Do not forget trying this unique bath experience in your visit to Turkey.
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