The Hammam of Sultan Inal is a historic hammam (public bathhouse) in Cairo, Egypt. It is located in the Bayn al-Qasrayn area, on al-Mu’izz street, in the historic center of Cairo. The hammam was commissioned by Sultan Inal and built in 1456, during the Mamluk period. It is one of the few well-preserved hammams in Cairo. Out of the nearly 80 that existed by the end of the 19th century. It recently underwent a multi-year restoration and is now open to visitors as a historic monument.
Entrance to the hammam on al-Muizz street
The changing room of the hammam
What is Hammam ?
A hammam is a type of steam bath or a place of public bathing associated with the Islamic world. It is a prominent feature in the culture of the Muslim world, inherited from the model of the Roman thermae. Muslim bathhouses or hammams historically found across the Middle East. In addition to North Africa, al-Andalus (Islamic Spain and Portugal), Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and in Southeastern Europe under Ottoman rule. A variation on the Muslim bathhouse, the Victorian Turkish bath, became popular as a form of therapy, a method of cleansing, and a place for relaxation. During the Victorian era, rapidly spreading through the British Empire, the United States, and Western Europe.
In Islamic cultures the significance of the hammam was both religious and civic: it provided for the needs of ritual ablutions but also provided for general hygiene in an era before private plumbing and served other social functions such as offering a gendered meeting place for men and for women. Archeological remains attest to the existence of bathhouses in the Islamic world as early as the Umayyad period (7th–8th centuries) and their importance has persisted up to modern times. Their architecture evolved from the layout of Roman and Greek bathhouses and featured a regular sequence of rooms: an undressing room, a cold room, a warm room, and a hot room. Heat was produced by furnaces. Which provided hot water and steam, while smoke and hot air channeled through conduits under the floor.