Hammam is a word originated from Arabic language which is used the public bathhouse. It is a place is utilized for cleaning and purifying of body and for healing from some diseases. Because being healthy is a dominant need in life. Turkish baths and thermal springs have been built to meet this need.
Having a bath was a precaution against diseases and a means for healing in past times. In the fourth century Before Christ, Roman people have built bathing houses for utilizing them as body training and healing centers. Because, some sportive and cultural events have taken place in such centers in addition to cleaning purpose.
In the life of Turkish people, hammams were not only used as cleaning places, but only as buildings for performing health-related, social and cultural events like Roman people. Those places were important social areas which are constructed in accordance with the belief of the society.
That’s why, it is considered that Turkish baths inspired from Roman bathing houses, but gained their fundamental architectural features from Islamic life style. For instance, domes of baths are similar to domes of mosques.
In Ottoman times, since a water used by somebody else was deemed unclean, pools were not constructed in them. Instead, basins called “kurna” placed under running water had been used to take always clean water from to have a bath.
That’s why, Turkish baths are different from Roman bathing houses in terms of washing way of body while they are similar in functionality and architectural point of view.
Turks have built thousands of hammams after the conquest of Istanbul. In the seventeenth century, there were 168 big bazaar hammams merely in Istanbul.