HISTORY of Hamams
I,ve been going to Rochdale since 1985. CLICK HERE
to visit a website charting the History of Turkish Baths in Britain.
is some background info on saunas in general.
In old times, the sauna was known as the Finnish cure or the poor man's pharmacy. It was also the hospital where folk healers practised their art. They administered baths and massage, and drew blood; cupping was another method to suck bad blood away. The healer woman who went from house to house was a very important person; the darkness of the sauna helped her to develop a power of suggestion over her patient.
The sauna was also a place for performing magic, mostly to do with healing or love affairs. At Whitsuntide and Midsummer the marriageability of young women was improved by special sauna baths; the smell of herbs and birch-leaves hung in the air and the wise woman recited her spells. Sauna baths were also believed to be useful for improving virility.
In the countryside women usually gave birth in the sauna. For example, our long time president Urho Kaleva Kekkonen was born in a smoke sauna in 1900. After a birth the sauna was assigned to the mother as her resting place for several weeks. There were strict rules, strongly influenced by the magic tradition, for the baby's first bath. This was administered by the woman who attended to bathers and also served as a midwife, and it was believed to determine the basic features of the child's future personality.
The sauna was also the place where the dead were prepared for their last journey. The sauna was part of Finnish people's lives literally from cradle to grave...................
Also click to Read:Irish Sweathouses & The Great Forgetting
".............One of the Ottoman inventions was to “parboil” thousands of Greeks in Turkish baths and then send them, barely clothed, on death marches in the snow, to die of pneumonia and other related sicknesses. Parboiling avoided spilling blood (whereas using axes and spades to slaughter the victims was bloody), nor bullets, which were too expensive. ..........."from:
Clean: An Unsanitised History of Washing by Katherine Ashenburg