T U R K I S H B A T H
Bath tradition is an ancient tradition that goes back to the Romans. The Turks, who came to Anatolia, combined their bath tradition with Roman and Byzantine tradition. The first public baths is Çemberlitaş bath built by Mimar Sinan at request of Nurbanu Sultan, mother of Murat III. At the end of 16th century, the number of bath was approaching five thousand. The baths in Istanbul are famous all over the world. Çemberlitaş, Beyazıt, Hocapaşa, Fındıklı baths and Mehmetağa Bath in Fatih are the most historical baths. Another different side of bath is the Finnish bath based on steam bath.
Turkish Bath are mainly divided in three sections:
Bathing places: (Coldness, bath)
Heating place ( furnace)
There usually is a large sofa with small rooms and benches around it. People who have a bath can rest and change their clothes in this section
The bath is entered through the coldness. There are raised, heated marble platforms ( gobektasi) in different geometrical shapes. The heated marble platform is the area where people sweat. Around the heated marble platform there are marble basins where everyone can have a bath one by one and the halvet, which is partially enclosed bathing cubicle where people have a bath alone
Heating place - furnace
The furnace is generally under the heated marble platform and there's a fire heating it. Flames and smoke rising from the fire get out of the bath through special paths and inner walls. There is a hot water tank on the furnace oven and over it there is a cold water tank. Several channels in the bottom part of the oven go under the heated marble platform in the middle of bathing place. Flame and smoke of wood burning in the oven go to the heated marble platform through these channels. It is called hell because the dark place under heated marble platform gets so hot.