EDITORIAL: SPECIAL ISSUE ON TRADITIONAL PUBLIC BATHS-HAMMĀMS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

Magda Sibley

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26687/archnet-ijar.v2i3.277

Abstract

This special issue on hammams in the Mediterranean addresses a research subject that has been far too long neglected. Commonly known as “Turkish baths”, hammams, or public bathhouses, were important facilities in Islamic cities. Although the institution fl ourished and spread over a large geographic area under the Ottoman Empire, the Islamic bath is not of Turkish origin. The hammām as a building evolved from the Roman and Byzantine public bath houses and has been adapted to suit the washing requirements of Islam. Located near mosques, souks and residential centres, hammams played a key role not only in providing a washing facility for the conduct of major ablutions necessary before praying but also a venue for social interaction and rituals, marking religious celebrations and major events in the life of women.


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