Islamic culture has always placed a strong emphasis on bathing. Personal hygiene and the ritual cleansing of the body are regulated by the rules of Islam. According to the Quran, water is the source of life.
Public baths are called hammam in both Turkish and Arabic. Hammams were built as early as the Middle Ages, but they became the most popular in the Modern Age. Although the exterior of hammams is also interesting, with domes of various sizes on their roofs, it is the structure of the interior that is truly impressive.
The structure of Ottoman baths follows the classical scheme similar to Roman and Byzantine baths: the layout was organised by room temperature. The air in hammams is heated by a system of heating built under the marble floors in the rooms.
The entrance leads the visitor to the vestibule, or 'cold room,' which also serves as a changing room.
The next room is an intermediate warm room, serving as a place to rest and clean oneself.
The hararet, that is, the hot room opens from here. In the centre of the hot room, there is usually a large marble piece, called the ‘Navel stone,’ used for massaging clients. When the body becomes too hot, clients sprinkle cold water on themselves from the wells placed around the walls.