Turkish bath, called in Turkish “Hamam”, has been part of the Turkish Culture for hundreds of years. There are Hamams in Turkey over than 250 years old.
The Turkish bath is not a 10 minute shower; it is a tradition that not only deeply cleanses the body, but deeply relaxes the bather. It is the massage of a lifespan and an enjoyable luxury. It is definitely the act of becoming squeaky clean in architectural settings that are so elegant they are almost mystical.
Turkish Baths are communal places, with men and women coming to bathe at separate times so there are double hamams which had separate men/women sections and also single hamams which would accommodate women on certain days and hours. They are open to everyone regardless of their status; young and old, rich and poor, townsman or villager, Turkish or foreign.
The essence of "hamam" is forgetting the world outside, letting your mind and spirit wander free and just enjoying the purification. Turkish bath is exactly one of those “must do” experiences as we live our lives. Especially in winter time there is truly no better place to warm up your bones and purify both all your body and mind in steam and splashes of water. It is a type of bath in which you sit in a very hot steamy room, have a massage, then take a cold shower or bath.
Pestemal: It is a large striped or checked colored towel made of mixture of silk and cotton or pure cotton or even pure silk that can be wrapped around the body. It is fringed at both hands. After people had undressed in the bath, they covered their bodies below the breasts or hips with these towels.
Nalin (Takunya): It is a type of sandal, intended to protect the feet from wet and the soapy water, therefore it has a very thick sole. They are carved out of wood in special shapes and worn by women and men in the hamam.
Kese: It is a special woven cloth to rub off dead skin cells. In a hot and steamy hamam the skin softens and it is easy to rejuvenate body without any chemicals. It is woven with silk and hemp so not recommended to use on the face.
Tas: It is a Turkish word given to the bowl used for pouring the water gently over the entire body. The bowl is always made of metal with grooved and inlaid ornamentation. Silver, tinned copper or brass is used in the making of the tas.
Bath Towel: It is a very large towel, after you have had a Turkish bath it is used for drying all your body. For drying 3 different towels were used; one to wrap around shoulders, one to wrap the hair like a scarf and one around the waist.
For a visit to hamam, if you like, have your own towels or bathrobe, a pair of flip flops, shampoo and all type of personal toiletries. All they are available in hamam also.