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The Islamic Baths

In the Islamic world, the bath (hammām) was a reflection of the splendour of the society, which followed the obligatory religious rules of purification before praying. Besides a place of health and relaxation, it also became a place of meeting and conversation about the personal and family life and other social aspects.

There were two types of baths: the usual classic baths, of Greco-Roman tradition (al-hammām) with gradual change of temperature per room, and the medicinal mineral thermal baths (al-hammā) whose medicinal function was closely related to religion, which is the case of Alhama.

In Alhama, following the tradition of Roman Baths, the same domed areas were reused, named by Al-Qazwini in the thirteenth century. Archaeological evidence is two new skylights integrated on both sides of the vault to regulate the healthy environment in two separated rooms: one for male bathers and another one for female bathers.

Through the archaeological works, the first Islamic cemetery (maqbara) of the twelfth and thirtieth centuries was discovered, next to the vault of the female bath and above the Roman structures of the bath of leisure.

The name of Alhama means natural hot spring water (Hamma) in contrast to Hammam or classic bath. The name became Alhama in the Christian period.

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