Where to go Guide
Hammam El Samara, or the ‘Samaritan’ hammam, is a Turkish bathhouse in Gaza’s Old City that dates back centuries. It garners its name from the Samaritan community that used to run bathhouse, before selling it to move to the Nablus area. An inscribed plaque in the foyer of the bathhouse dates its renovation to the Mamluk period, 1320AD, during the reign of Mamluk governor Sanjar ibn Abdullah. Throughout history, the baths have gone through periods of neglect and disrepair, but they are currently operational and the only of its kind remaining in Gaza.
Three meters below the street level lays the entrance to the baths. The baths are made out of marble tiles and still heated by wood-fired ovens. Upon entering, visitors pass through progressively warmer rooms, with marble benches and arched ceilings. A dome, fitted with stained glass windows, gives beautiful natural light to the bathhouse. When the space isn’t being hired out for private events, visitors can relax in this historic location. Don’t forget to bring towels, bathing suits, and toiletries.