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The Bathhouse of the Winds is fortunate to be the only surviving Athenian hamam from the Ottoman and modern era. Upon entering its dressing rooms, adorned with green latticework, its vaulted, half-lit spaces decorated with fountains and marble counters, its corridors and narrow stairs, visitors are swept away on a journey—a journey through space and time, memory and imagination, senses and illusions, body and soul.
From the "Queen’s Bathroom" at the Minoan palace of Knossos to the hammam of Constantinople, where Loxandra would go every Saturday with her entire family carrying their bohças (bundles of clothes), pestemal towels andsoumades (almond liqueur), the baths have come a long way. The interactive timeline "The history of baths as buildings" traces the evolution of bath structures through time, employing pertinent documents and illustrations.
The interactive timeline "Hygiene Objects and Toiletries” takes a similar path, with an alternate focus. Body care emerges as a timeless aspect of everyday life for both men and women, starting with the aryballos and alabastron of the Classical Period—the bottles with scented oils, to the silver tasi and elaborately embellished wooden clogs of the Ottoman and modern hamams.
The journey does not end there. By referring to the interactive map, one can see what remains of the numerous baths that were scattered throughout the Greek world during the Ottoman period.
And, if there’s a sense of melancholy or disillusionment after looking through these images of desolation, come for a stroll.