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BUKHARA’S BATHHOUSES

Famous Bukhara bathhouses have a long history. Since ancient times, bathhouses and baths were an obligatory part of urban planning in Central Asia. The bath-hammam was included either in the composition of palace complexes and public buildings or was built separately. According to historical data, in Bukhara in the X century there were several baths. "Hammom hon" (Khan's Bath) was among them. By the middle of the XIX century there were already more than 16 baths in the city. For comparison, in the same period, 11 baths operated in Tashkent, and in Samarkand by the beginning of the 20th century there were 8 baths.

In the East, there has been a long special attitude towards visiting a bathhouse. Before the solemn wedding event, they took a special ritual bath. This does not mean that the baths were visited only on special occasions. And in everyday life the bath was very popular, moreover, not only as a place for washing, but also for other purposes. Baths were used as a remedy; moreover, this tradition is still widely used among the local population. Bath procedures were prescribed for the treatment of a number of diseases. The world-famous physician and philosopher Abu Ali ibn-Sina (Avicenna) in his treatise on hygiene wrote about the benefits of the bath. In his "Poem on Medicine" he had such lines: "Soap and water are useful in a bath. Often wash, do not spare. Cleanse yourself of dirt and dust ... ". With the help of a bath he treated paralysis, a headache after a hangover, migraines, weakness of digestion, insomnia, melancholy, and even "passionate love", which in the east was considered to be a disease.

In Bukhara, some of the monuments of medieval civil construction have reached us up to now, among of which there are also eastern bath-hammomes. These structures date back to the 16th century and were erected during the reign of Abdullakhan. Among them, Hammomi Sarrofon, right next to the Toki Sarrafon trading dome, and Hammomi Bazori Kord, which is located not far from the other Toki Telpak Furushon trading dome, are perfectly preserved and even now are functioning. Naturally, today these old baths are technically advanced, but they still retain their former appearance both from the outside and from the inside.

Straight from the street, there is a stairs leads to the Sarrafon bath. You will immediately find yourself in a spacious room for rest and undressing. The bath rooms are deepened into the ground and connected by narrow vaulted passageways. Everything is arranged in such a way that in each next small bath room the temperature of the air, heated walls and floor is higher than in the previous one. The heating of the sauna is carried out by using a system of smoke channels that passes under the floor. The sun's rays and light is getting inside through the small windows that are at the top.

In the past centuries, from the Shahrud canal (which has come down to our days) passing next to the baths, water for washing was delivered through special trays of baked clay. There was a boiler room nearby for its heating. In all the bath rooms there were two tanks for cold and hot water, from which water was scooped up by special lohans. The customers were washed and rinsed by the male bath attendants, and in the women's baths - by the female bath attendants.

And nowadays, you will be also offered a massage, tonsure and shave in the bath, make a tea. And although the water in today's baths comes from the city water supply and is heated with the help of natural gas, and not firewood, but in all other respects, the traditions of the present oriental baths are preserved in them. You can light incense in a massage room, order a massage with the aroma of spices, and drink tea with herbs. And nowadays there is an opportunity to plunge into the world of ancient traditions, to feel "real Bukhara".