Five Hammams in 24 Hours

Source: Roads & Kingdoms

I spent five days in Turkey a few weeks before the referendum, wandering through the city under posters and massive banners of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. But at the time, I wasn’t focused on politics: I was interested in the hammams, or Turkish baths.

The history of public baths in the West stretches at least as far back as the Spartans, who first used hot stones and then coal fires to turn the practice of leaping into ice-cold water into something a little more luxurious. Like so many Greek innovations, the Romans tweaked and expanded and perfected the practice. Thermae, as ...

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