Turkish Bath (HAMAM)
When the Muslims first came to Turkey, they brought their own bathing customs which were quite different from those of the Romans and the Byzantines. The two systems became combined and this, together with the Muslim fetish for cleanliness and respect for water, created the Turkish bath. Almost anywhere you go in Turkey you will find at least one Turkish bath. The famous historical baths built by the sultans were made of marble and were magnificent examples of rich and ornamental architecture.
The function of the Turkish Hamam The main reason why hamams became so central to Ottoman culture was religion. According to the Qu'ran washing is not only important but also an essential part of Islam. However, these marble temples also helped create a social atmosphere that revolved around bathing, massages and chatting. Enjoying the company of friends, making business contacts was common for hamams. Mothers would sit around outside the ham am eying men hoping to find a suitable husband for their daughters.
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