Long considered a must-do experience when visiting Marrakech, the age old bathing ritual known as Hammam is fast becoming one of the most popular and beneficial spa treatments across the globe.
A traditional Moroccan hammam consists of a bathing house divided into multiple rooms where visitors under go a number of rituals: cleansing, steaming, bathing and resting to cleanse, purify and rejuvenate the body and mind.
No wonder then that this ancient spa treatment is an increasingly popular way of relieving the stresses of a fast-paced modern life.
Here’s a look at the past and present tradition of Moroccan hammams.
History of Hammams
Hammam, an Arabic word meaning ‘heat’ or more literally ‘spreader of warmth’ originates from the hot baths of the ancient Romans who had their own bathing traditions. The Romans believed in a central ‘community’ bath where citizens could come together to cleanse while exchanging the local news and gossip in a communal area. Taking inspiration from the Romans, the Moroccans introduced communal bathing areas, used as part of a cleansing ritual before prayer. This is why many Moroccan bathhouses are found next to mosques.
Initially, only men were permitted to use Hammams. Eventually, women were allowed to partake in the cleansing ritual, but the bathhouses were rigorously separated according to gender. It soon became a refuge for women, enabling them to escape the strict rules of everyday life and be themselves.
A Hammam spa experience offers the following benefits:
Detox, ridding the body and mind of excess toxins
Exfoliation unclogs the pores and removes dead skin
Provides essential vitamins and minerals to nourish the skin
Soothes muscle aches and pains and relieves tension in joints and muscles
Activates blood circulation to boost the immune system
Produces serotonin, the mood enhancing, feel-good hormone
Rejuvenates the body and helps you sleep better
Traditional Hammam Layout
A traditional hammam has 3 interconnecting rooms: a camekan for undressing, a hararet hot room to sweat out toxins which will be vigorously scrubbed away with a traditional olive soap, and finally, a sogukluk, a cool room where you can relax and rehydrate with a cup of sweet mint tea.
Tadelakt Traditional Moroccan Plaster
Traditional Moroccan Hammams coat the walls of the rooms in Tadelakt plaster, a natural limestone finish that is durable, water resistant, antiseptic and naturally breathable.
Tadelakt is not only a naturally beautiful, authentic Moroccan finish but is also the most practical solution for wet areas and hammam treatment rooms. It is made up of 100% natural ingredients that provide a waterproof coating while still letting the plaster breathe.
Whether you want to create a specialised hammam treatment bathhouse as part of your spa treatments, or you desire a Moroccan styled hammam bathroom at home, using Tadelakt for your walls, ceilings, and even baths and sinks, will add an authentic Moroccan touch to your wet room interiors.
For more information and advice on commercial and domestic Moroccan baths and Tadelakt plaster, contact us today.