Hammams are very characteristic spaces in Islamic countries, and Morocco is a good example of this. They have served their purpose since time immemorial and are still numerous today , especially in cities. But what exactly are they like? Is the experience you can live in them really ‘chic’? Here we tell you what you should know about the hammams in Morocco, something that will be useful if you plan to take a bath in this type of places during your trip.
Origin of hammams in Morocco
First of all, it should be remembered that the hammam in Morocco, as in the rest of the Arab world, has its roots in the Roman thermal baths, which already exploited the benefits of pools and environments at different temperatures. In fact, some remains of them are preserved in Volubilis, a large Roman archaeological complex near Meknes.
Since the Arab conquest, the new Islamic civilization promoted its use for hygienic reasons, since the humble houses of the medina did not have this type of infrastructure. In addition, its purifying function in the face of prayer also consolidated its use in this society. Thus, despite the logical advances in hygiene and public health, these hammams are still in use in Morocco, some of them inaugurated relatively recently.
In addition, we cannot forget their social function: these public baths have served as a meeting and chatting place for men and women, although separately, as both have their own schedules or specific days of use.
How are the hammams in Morocco
Generally speaking, it can be said that the hammams in Morocco have the same spaces, which give rise to the following ritual:
- Changing room in which to prepare for bathing
- Warm room, to acclimatize to the environment
- Hot room, with even higher temperature and maximum humidity saturation.
- After a short period of time (depending on each person’s tolerance to heat) and after opening the pores to expel toxins, we return to the warm room for a more thorough bath.
- Cold room, for a final rinse and acclimatization back to normal
- The last step, although optional, is the exfoliating glove massage with black soap, which is often provided by a bathing partner at this point in the ritual.
In these spaces, there are usually benches, taps and buckets with water to apply the corresponding water in each case.
Are they a chic place to visit on your trip?
Public hammams have evolved a lot and have been updated to current times, with renovations and rehabilitations. However, their use is still practically restricted to Moroccans themselves, who continue to see them as part of their culture. culture . Although their entrance is not restricted to foreigners or non-faithful, it is advisable to have the intermediation or invitation of a local person to visit them.
And while the experience is most genuine, it cannot be considered ‘chic’. If what you are looking for is a bath with the highest standards of quality and wellness, then it is best to go to one of the private hammams that you will surely find at your destination, often associated with a hotel. Depending on each case, you can offer a bath based on the aforementioned ritual of water and environments at different temperatures, but also other services more typical of a spa.
In any case, if you are interested in going to a hammam in Morocco, we recommend you to contact us before traveling or with our staff already on the road: they will be able to tell you which is the most suitable in your destination, helping you in the reservation, if necessary.