Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Revalorising the Hammam

Only a few decades ago the Hammam was a strong centre of social and cultural significance in many countries around the Mediterranean. One EU initiative has worked on reviving this important regional institution.
Revalorising the Hammam
The traditional Islamic bathhouse or hammam represents an important and attractive cultural element in the Middle East, north Africa and even parts of southern Europe. Its history, architecture and rituals have fascinated the world and captivated visitors to these regions. With this in mind, the EU-funded project 'Hammam, aspects and multidisciplinary methods of analysis for the Mediterranean region' (Hammam) looked at ways of reviving this all-but-forgotten tradition.

In essence, the project investigated scenarios for revitalising and reusing the Hammam by the public in Mediterranean cities. It drew on its once important role as a social hotspot, relaxation retreat and health centre of sorts. The project also looked at the Hammam as a rare meeting place for women who used it exclusively on specific days and as a hub for religious, ceremonial and artistic activities.

Experts involved in the project developed sustainable strategies to revitalise these bathhouses as places of cultural heritage for both locals and tourists. It discussed the new approaches with different stakeholder groups such as city administrators, inhabitants, funding parties and even the hammam staff itself who had unique insight on this tradition.

Project initiatives touched on many fascinating aspects of the Hammam such as restoration initiatives, maintaining social values, history, religious practices, ecology, tourism, architecture and culture. This endeavour could serve as a pilot project for maintaining other traditional monuments and practices around the globe, preserving an important part of our world heritage and building cultural bridges.

Related information

Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top