The history of sauna

As long ago as the Stone Age humans discovered the possibility of heating their dwelling places with hot stones, realizing that the increase in temperature would lead to intense sweating. Towards the end of the Middle Ages however, this ritual fell into disuse, apart from in Finland and in parts of Russia. But in the more southerly regions treatments with hot air developed, such as the culture of Roman baths and Turkish baths in the Orient.

It was from Asia, the true birthplace of the sauna, that roughly 2000 years ago the Finns imported this practice into Europe, the primitive form of which consisted of a pit dug into the earth (Ground sauna). An evolution lasting centuries then followed, finally reaching the modern sauna as we know it today. In the past saunas were created in tents, pits dug in the ground or in barns. At the beginning of the 19th century these “smoke houses” were replaced with wooden cabins equipped with stoves and a chimney. Only after 1945 was the mid-European sauna culture to make a comeback, rapidly spreading to many different countries.

 

Today, all variants and forms of saunas exist in private, public and hotel structures. If in the past it was somewhere to get warm during the winter, today it has been transformed into a cultural meeting point, a small place for relaxation in both summer and winter.