From time immemorial, mankind has used the bath technique for cleansing and healing. It can be assumed that the first steam rooms for a person were hot springs, which allowed them to warm themselves well, relax and wash. There are also a number of legends telling about where the baths came from. One of them says that everything was to blame for an accident, and the idea of a steam room appeared in ancient people when raindrops accidentally fell on hot stones and began to evaporate. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus believed that the art of soaring developed simultaneously among all peoples. The mention of the first baths can be found precisely in the “History” of Herodotus. They had very little in common with modern ones, most often it was a structure in the center of which there were hot stones (sometimes together with firewood). They were periodically watered with water.
The progenitor of the modern steam room can still be called the baths of ancient Egypt. Heating of such structures took place in the basement, and the ancient Egyptian baths were equipped with swimming pools. The ancient Greeks and Romans improved the procedure. For the ancient Greeks, the steam room was a round room with a stone hearth in the center. The Romans made the steam room part of social and cultural activity.
When did the sauna appear? Being interested in a sauna, most often they mean Finnish. She managed to preserve the ancient traditions and respect for the process of soaring. Since this is useful not only for the body, but also for the soul, it was forbidden to gossip and swear in the sauna. It is believed that the first sauna appeared about two thousand years ago. Like Russian baths, at first it was rooms without a chimney, so the walls became black with smoke and soot. Soon there appeared “white” saunas. Due to the raw materials from which the room was made, the first saunas remained fire hazardous, corrected the situation with the use of bricks and metal. Also, the Finns had a common sauna for hunters and fishermen, where they could warm themselves and relax.
Baths existed even among the ancient Slavs, they were distinguished from the sauna by increased air humidity and the custom of steaming with the help of a broom, which greatly surprised foreigners. After a certain amount of time spent in the steam room, they were usually dipped in an ice hole or wiped off with snow. Initially, Russian baths were wooden and only with time did they begin to use bricks for their construction. The tradition of visiting the steam room was associated with paganism, and therefore had a sacred meaning. Various ceremonies or the arrival of guests in Russia could not do without going to the steam room. Interestingly, the steam room was accessible both for the nobility and for ordinary peasants, everyone could build their own.
Both the Finnish sauna and the Russian bath were considered almost the most sterile place. Here various diseases were cured, tempered and even gave birth. In pagan times, the bathhouse was also visited to attract the adherence of the elements of fire, water, earth and air. Used it for healing.
In general, answering the question “When did the baths (saunas) appear?”, we can say that the tradition of soaring has been accompanying mankind for more than one millennium, which testifies to the quality that has been tested by time.