The Last Hammams of Cairo: A Disappearing Bathhouse Culture

The Last Hammams of Cairo: A Disappearing Bathhouse Culture

AUC Press

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Pascal Meunier

In the twelfth century, Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi affirmed that the Egyptian baths were Òthe most beautiful in the East, the most practical, and the best located.Ó Nine centuries later, forgotten by the countryÕs restoration campaign, CairoÕs few remaining steam baths are drowning in general indifference. Places of relaxation and ritual, known for their therapeutic virtues, the last public baths are attempting to resist the evolution of tradition and real estate pressure. Curiously, the dilapidated state of the buildings, with their outstanding architecture, is full of charm: the decor is bright, flashy, and oriental, and the mixture of unusual objects creates a unique atmosphere. This book, with its exceptional color photographs and personal narrative, invites you into the intimacy of these bathhouses from another age before their definitive disappearance.

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