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Hammam Guide

Marrakech, Marocco


The Hammam in Marrakech Morocco as we know it today has a long history. The history of the Hammam, which is made up of technical, religious and societal aspects, is still popular today because the steam bath brings unparalleled relaxation and spirituality. In Marrakech in particular, the hammam is the place where tourism wellbeing with wellness in Hammam Spa of Riads or hotels is combined with the practice of deep cultural traditions in the city’s Public Hammams.

A woman’s escape

In the beginning, the Hammam was a place that only welcomed men. Steadily, the rules changed to allow ill women or those who had given birth to visit, as long as there were no men present. Eventually, all women could bathe there, most likely due to the influence of Mohammed, who claimed that the warmth of the baths enhanced fertility. On a social level, many women considered it their daily escape from isolation in the home. In fact, at one point, a husband prohibiting his wife from visiting the Hamman was found to be a legitimate reason for her to file for divorce. It later became accessible for all and thus became an important social center for people of all classes. It evolved into much more than a place where you could cleanse your body—it was and still is a retreat for bodily and spiritual cleansing, but also a place where vital moments in life are celebrated, complete with bath, food and music.

Although today we think of bathing as a private activity, the public bath, or Hammam, was a vital social institution in any Middle Eastern city for centuries before the advent of modern plumbing. Hammams played a central role in promoting hygiene and public health, but they also served as meeting places where people could relax and socialize.