Hammam al-Nahhasin in Aleppo … restores its glory as archeological icon after rehabilitation

Aleppo, SANA- Hammam al-Nahhasin, one of the oldest and largest bathhouses in Aleppo Old City, is restoring its Ayyubid glory today as an archaeological masterpiece that has preserved its aesthetic value over the years, after the rehabilitation and restoration operations are nearing completion to bring back the intimate social atmosphere that the locals in the old neighborhoods of Aleppo have long lived such as the wedding rituals and joy occasions under the domes of the ancient bathhouse.

The visitors of Hammam al-Nahhasin go through small alleys to reach the bathhouse as it is located behind the Great Umayyad Mosque where these alleys intersect with the roads leading to al- Shibani Church and the Farafra neighborhood.

Once you reach Hammam al-Nahhasin, you see a wooden door that invites you to go down a few steps to receive you in a spacious hall under antique stone domes adorned with copper chandeliers whose light shines on the place.

Owner of the bathhouse, Ibrahim Qattan, said that the history of the bathhouse goes back 950 years, as it was built by Aisha, daughter of Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi, according to the old urban style, which gives the place warmth in winter and coolness in summer.

Qattan told SANA that the bathhouse was historically divided into two parts, the first and it is called al-Sitt Hammam (bathhouse), and it was intended for women, and the second was the coppersmith’s bathhouse for men.

He added that the bathhouse consists of the internal, central and external sections. The internal section contains the warm rooms and the hot rooms. The warm rooms are designated for a short relaxation before taking bath. The hot rooms are designated for a full body wash and steam bath.

The central section is designated for a massage after the body wash. The external section is the largest part of the Hammam, characterized with its traditional wooden decorations and marble floor. Here, bathers can take a period of relaxation around the pond.

He pointed to the great damage caused to parts of Hammam al-Nahhasin as a result of terrorism, adding that with the liberation of Aleppo and the return of security and safety to it, work has been done to rehabilitate and restore the bathhouse and equip it in preparation for putting it into service soon and opening its doors to its visitors, as it can accommodate more than 200 people and it used to host social events, including weddings.

Engineer Ahmed al-Shihabi, Director of Old Aleppo Department, affiliated to the City Council, indicated that the restoration and rehabilitation work of al-Nahhasin Bathhouse comes in conjunction with the restoration of the main axes of the old city of Aleppo, the markets and commercial inns, which is being carried out in cooperation with economic activities and the local community, where the necessary restoration licenses are granted in coordination with the Directorate of Antiquities and Museums in Aleppo, under the supervision of specialized engineers, to carry out restoration work in accordance with international standards approved for restoration.

Al-Shihabi added that the necessary facilitations for the restoration are being provided and the owners of commercial and tourism activities are encouraged to return to their facilities and to restore them.

Manar Salameh/ Ruaa al-Jazaeri

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