Posts Tagged ‘progression of spas’

The Cultural Progression of the Spa

Thursday, June 11th, 2009
Interior of the Cagaloglu Hamami, Istanbul

Interior of the Cagaloglu Hamami, Istanbul

The integration of a steam shower is one of the most popular luxury amenities to hit the housing industry. After all, it is a bathing ritual that has been historically practiced from Turkey to Russia, Finland and even by the American Indians.

The Turkish Steam Bath, or Hammam, serves as a social gathering place and ritual cleansing site, as well as an architectural structure. It is a cultural fusion of community, design and the art of relaxation. In a Turkish bath, one relaxes in a warm room and moves to a hotter room, before they conclude the ritual with a splash of cold water.

Similar to the Turkish Hammam, the Russian Banyas (steam houses) usually have three rooms: entrance room, steam room and washing room. The entrance room, called a predbannik or pre-bath, is a room in which to de-robe. Before bathers enter the steam room, a bucket of water is poured over heated rocks in the stove. Bathers often add aromatherapy scents to the water. The washing room features a hot water tap that uses water heated by the steam room stove, as well as a tap for cold water so that it can be mixed to a comfortable temperature for washing.

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