|Believed to date to sometime around 1160, the Hammam Nur al-Din is one of the oldest bathhouses in Damascus and is so well preserved it is still in use today. Hammams, or bathhouses, were places for everyone to enjoy ritual cleansing and socializing. The structures' location among the shops of a marketplace show what an integral part hammams played in the daily life in old Damascus. Entering the hammam visitors are first greeted with the ornately decorated mashlah, a large domed chamber meant for changing and lounging, before proceeding to a series of chambers. The cold water chambers were called barrani, warm-water chambers, wustani, and the hot-water chambers were known as juwwani, where bathers would sweat in the steam entering from a side vent linked to the furnace.