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The Cagaloglu Hamami
Turkish bath house, Istanbul, Turkey
The Cagaloglu Hamami was built in 1741 and is the last hamam to be built after a very long period during the Ottoman Empire. An hamami is a Turkish bath house. It's similar to a spa except with a more ancient traditional practices. If you need to decompress a Turkish bath is just the thing for you!
The Cagaloglu was a gift to the city from Sultan Mehmet I, and it is believed that such hostorical figures as King Edward VIII, Kaiser Willhelm II, and Florence Nightengale have all visited the magnificent white-marble dome steam room of the bath house. The tradition of the bath house was originally founded by the Romans who passed the act on to the Byzantines and then the Turks. The concept of the bath houses were such a huge success because they fullfilled so many demands simultaneously. They greatly improved the issue of water shortages while providing a perfect relationship between the Koran's demand for cleanliness and the pleasure of indulgence in a beautiful setting.
The baths remain a social institution today even with modern plumbing. It is a form a social entertainment mixed with relaxtion and comfort. People come to discuss politics, gossip, philosophy, the arts, or just escape their daily routine. The bath house also offers seperate chambers for men and women so that both can relax and bath privately in peace.
Visiting the Cagaloglu is a must if you are in Istanbul Turkey. The act of recieving a Turkish bath is actually listed as one of the 1000 things to do before you die so dont miss the experience of a lifetime.
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