The historical Vakirflar hamam (Turkish bath) in Denizli is just a few hundred meters from Yildirim Hotel!
* Editor’s Note: Please know, the Germiyanoğlulları baths are open for men only. They is a modern facility near the new city square of Çinar which is open for women.
The building housing the hamam was originally built in 1246, as a Turkish Bath.
The Turkish Bath (Hamam) combines the functionality and the architectural elements of its predecessors in Anatolia, the Roman thermae and baths, with the central Asian Turkish tradition of steam bathing, ritual cleansing and respect for water.
Like its Roman predecessor, a typical hamam consists of three interconnected rooms:
The hot room; sıcaklık (caldarium),
The warm room; (tepidarium), which is the intermediate room;
The cool room; (frigidarium).
The ‘sıcaklık’ usually has a large domed ceiling decorated with small glass windows that create an ambient light. It also contains a large marble stone called göbek taşı (tummy stone) in the center of the room for guests to lie on. There are typically niches, with fountains. in every corner. This room is for soaking up steam and getting scrub massages. The ‘warm room’ is used for washing up with soap and water, and the ‘soğukluk’ is for relaxing, getting dressed,having a refreshing drink, and, where available, a nap in a private cubicle after the massage.
Several accessories from Roman times survive in modern hamams, such as the peştemal (a special cloth of silk and/or cotton to cover the body, like a towel), nalın (wooden clogs that prevent slipping on the wet tile floor, kese (a rough mitt for massaging), and sometimes jewel boxes, gilded soap boxes, mirrors, henna bowls, and perfume bottles.
In Ottoman times, hamams were social centers, and they were the only baths in Turkey until the mid-20th century when western-style tub-and-shower gained popularity.
Read more posts from our local food blog for foods In Denizli Near Pamukkale Turkey, written and maintained by Yildirim Hotel Denizli