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Damascene Bathhouse
Damascene Bathhouse

Damascene Bathhouses

( DP-News – Sana)

DAMASCUS- Damascene people are still loyal to the breeze of the past and its sparkling images which dwell deep in their memories recalling Damascus Old City and its alleys, and the traditions on which they were brought up.

They can easily remember the folktales they heard about from their fathers and grandfathers to narrate them on the walls of the ancient bathhouses as the architects competed in embroidering them to become one of the most important historical monuments in Damascus.

One of the most beautiful bathhouses is 'Nour Eddin al-Shahid' in al-Bouzouria Market which is one of the most famous Damascene traditional markets.



'Al-Malek al-Zaher' is another important bathhouse which was built near al-Zahria Library, in addition to 'al-Warid' Bathhouse which is located at the center of Sarouja Market outside the wall of the Old City, and 'al-Khanji' Bathhouse near al-Hal ancient market.

Other important bathhouses are 'al-A'afif' and 'al-Srouji' in al-Shaghour Neighborhood, 'al-Sheikh Hassan' Bathhouse in Sweiqa Neighborhood, Ezz Eddin Bathhouse in Bab Srijeh historical area, al-Qarmani Bathhouse in al-Marjeh Square, Ammouna Bathhouse in al-Amara Neighborhood, and 'al-Bakri' Bathhouse which was built in Bab Toma historical neighborhood.

The 800-year old 'Sheikh Raslan' Bathhouse was built in al-Joura alley over an area of 700 square meters, and it is distinguished by preserving the heritage of bathing along with using the service of sauna and steam to adapt with the modern age.

The Damascene bathhouses are a cultural treasure, which have captured the hearts and minds of many historians through their marvelous architectural style, majestic buildings and colorful embroideries and inscriptions.

The researches talked about not only the health benefits of the bathhouses, but they also talked about their social benefits as they contribute to increasing the social relations among the inhabitants of the same alley.

Going to the bathhouses was a weekly tradition shrouded with delight and happiness, and in many occasions the bathhouses were considered as a basis, particularly in the weddings.

The Damascene families try today to revive the old traditions of going to the bathhouses in the weddings as the bride and her friends go to the bathhouse of women while the groom goes with the young men of his family to the bathhouse of men in an attempt to recall the past time and to bring some joy to the wedding.

The tradition of going to the bathhouse differs between the men and women, except for some special occasions such as the bath of the wedding.

Bathhouses gained a wide reputation not only in Syria, but also across the world as the Syrian drama has contributed to introducing them to the whole world since the end of the 1960s.

The bathhouse is usually considered as a café by women, like a social tradition that had changed to become richer, and the bathhouse became a social forum and a place for entertainment.

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