Source: Carlos ZGZ
When visiting a country predominated by the Islamic culture, one will notice the bathing practice of hammam. In the same way, you might notice such practice when visiting Marrakech in Morroco. Before you go inside one and start the experience, there are 7 things that you need to know about hammam in Marrakech.
1. What It Is
Source: Sean Biehle
A hammam is actually a method that most Turks go through in order to cleanse their bodies as well as relax. This is a bathing practice that is famous in Western Europe. The popularity of this practice rose during the Victorian era. The process or the steps that are involved in this practice is generally the same as the steps whenever you are going to a sauna.
- The period of Victorian era is from 1837 up to 1901.
- The air inside a hammam is dry while the air inside a sauna is steamy.
- The practice has close resemblance to the bathing practices of the ancient Romans and the ancient Greeks.
2. Short History
— DARJL (@darjlmarrakech) July 13, 2016
The Romans ruled over Constantinople for several centuries. Constantinople was the capital of the Byzantium. However, during the 1450’s, the city was conquered by the Ottoman Turks. With such conquest, both the bathing practices of the Romans was merged with those of the Turks. Hammams were brought to life through such merging of two bathing practices from two different cultures.
- Constantinople is known today as Istanbul, the capital of Turkey.
- The term “hammam” literally means “spreader of warmth”.
— Arkadaslik Yachting (@ArkadaslikYacht) July 8, 2016
The camekan is the term used to call the first room that you will go to when experiencing hammam. This actually looks more like an entrance hall, which oftentimes is splendid and filled with Turkish or Morrocan designs. This room is comparable to a locker room when going to a swimming pool. In this room, you get rid of your clothes and wait for your hammam experience to start.
- You need to wear a pestemal which is a thin piece of cloth that you wrap around your body as covering.
- You will also wear a pair of slippers called nalin.
- The camekan may be a big open space or made up of private wooden cubicles.
A brand of skincare makeup so natural we can apply it directly after our facial treatments and waxing (yes, really). pic.twitter.com/s08wX989sp
— Hammam Spa (@HammamSpa) July 7, 2016
The hararet is the primary hot room. You will be lead to such room which usually is a small room with small windows where light could enter. It also has a domed ceiling and very hot. There is a raised platform, called a belly stone, where you will lie down to relax and start sweating. After a couple of minutes, you will be massaged and washed with traditional soap and clean water vigorously.
- The term tellak means the masseur.
- The belly stone is also known as the gobek tasi.
- The traditional soap is mixed with olive paste.
— Promos Toulouse (@Promos_Toulouse) July 8, 2016
You will then see water basins on one corner of the hararet. An employee will then scrub your body intensively with the use of a rough mitten. You will be rinsed and dried with the use of the towel. At this point, you will then go inside the sogukluk. This is a cool room where you can relax for a bit more while lying down on a bed for a while or drink a refreshing liquid. Afterwards, you can already dress up.
- The rough mitten is known locally as a mese.
- The sogukluk is also known as the frigidarium.
- The drink could be tea or juice.
6. Historic Locations
— SUITCASE (@SUITCASEmag) July 12, 2016
In most cases, as well as in history, the hammams are typically located near mosques. This is for the individuals to cleanse themselves before they pray inside the mosque. It will be convenient for them to undergo deeper cleansing when the hammams are just nearby. Such cleansing is required to be performed by believers of Islam as prayer is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
- Cleansing is called ablution or ritual purification, which is part of Islamic customs.
- The two types of ablutions are wudu (face, hands, and the feet) and ghusl (full-body).
- Cleansing can also be done with sand or pure soil.
7. Hammam de la Rose
One of the most famous Turkish bath in the city of Marrakech is the Hammam de la Rose. You surely do not want to miss out on this bath where you can exfoliate your skin as well as experience the good massages that the attendants can give. Aside from that, you will also get to see splendid surroundings both on the inside and the outside. The atmosphere is relaxing so you will be able to relieve yourself from the stress that you are feeling.
- Phone Number : +21 252 444 4769
- Address : 130, Dar El Bacha, Medina, Marrakech, 40000 Morocco
- Website : http://www.hammamdelarose.com/en/
- Operating Hours : 10am up to 8pm daily
Once you finish the whole ritual process, you will certainly feel invigorated afterwards. Your muscles will be relaxed. Your skin will become clean, too. The hammam is surely an experience you must not miss out in Marrakech.
Have a good trip and travel!