Medieval baths-hammams, Bukhara
Central Asian baths (hammams) are one of the most beloved & attractive East places, with roots going back to ancient times. Its philosophy & culture are first spirit’s purity, next – bodies’ purity. A hammam will cleanse the soul and get rid of negative thoughts.
The Bozori Cord Hammam is a bathhouse built in Bukhara in the 14th century: domed, sturdy, spacious inside and inconspicuous outside is an integral part of Central Asian urban architecture and the way of life of the locals. The first samples appeared as part of the palace complexes but quickly became accessible to all classes. The historian of the 10th century Narshahi already mentioned the baths as a place of public recreation, and the most popular at that time was the Khan Hammam - the khan bath.
The most visited and crowded places in the central part of the city, near bazaars, were chosen for construction. One of them was adjacent to the Gaukushon complex. There were baths both at Khoja Porso and at the Sarrafon trading domes. However, small bathing facilities – guzar-hammam were found even in rich mahallas. They were also built at the crossroads in Samarkand and Bukhara, calling them Kunjak-Hammam - Hammam on the corner. The women's kunjak bath still functions in Bukhara, at the Kalon Minaret. Back in the 19th century, there were 16 bathing complexes in Bukhara and 8 - 11 in Samarkand and Tashkent.
The Bozori Cord Hammam is one of the two ancient baths still functions in Bukhara, has been operating since the 17th century to this day without undergoing reconstruction. They say that if you disassemble the ancient hammam and then put it back together, the bath will not work anymore. It is located at the trading dome of Toki Telpak Furushon.
There are different blocks for men and women, of course. In the Central Asian baths, which could not divide the premises, the reception of men and women on different days was practiced. It is provided with a clean towel, a lungi (wrap-around cloth to cover yourself while in the Hammam), and sandals. The guests are guided in the Hammam by an assistant who shows them where to sit, how to get water, and how to relax in the hot room. The assistant leaves you alone in the hot room for thirty minutes or so until the pores of the skin are open and muscles begin to relax. Guests can sit in the steam rooms as long as they want, and can use the plastic buckets to get the water. Then it is able to sit in the changing room and sip tea. After you can get a 20 or 30 minutes massage. Do not be surprised if during the massage he sits on you or stands on you. This is how massages are done in Bukhara!
After your massage, you can bathe yourself. The assistant brings you warm water and pours one bucket of water on you to rinse off the soap. The assistant tells you how to lie and which way to face.
Please note that if the marble is too hot for you, there are other parts of the Hammam that are cooler and you can request to move to a cooler place!
After that, you should relax in the cool room for a few minutes before coming out, in order to allow your body to adjust slowly to the temperature changes.
Medieval baths-hammams, Bukhara are something that must be visited in the city. The Hammam experience in Bukhara may be one of the most memorable ones of your trip. After a long day of walking, a deep muscle massage is exactly what you need. You immerse yourself in centuries-old traditions, and experience the «real Bukhara». It takes you beyond the souvenir shops and tour guides and puts you in contact with the way people really live in Bukhara.
regular hours: Wed-Mon 7 am. – 3 pm.
evenings: by reservation only
female masseuses available upon request