Bathhouse blog

Where was appeared the first sauna?

Baths and saunas have an ancient history, with roots in various parts of the world. The first saunas appeared in Northern Europe, and Finland is considered their birthplace.

History of Saunas in Finland

Ancient Times

Finnish saunas, known as "sauna" in Finnish, have existed for over 2000 years. They are first mentioned in ancient written sources and archaeological findings. The earliest saunas were simple earth shelters dug into the ground and covered with turf. These saunas were heated with stones that were heated in a fire, and then water was poured over them to create steam.

Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, saunas became more widespread and took the form of wooden structures. They were used not only for cleansing the body but also for various rituals, including childbirth, healing illnesses, and religious ceremonies. Saunas were considered sacred places where one could cleanse not only physically but also spiritually.

Modern Era

In the 19th and 20th centuries, saunas became an integral part of Finnish culture and daily life. They spread throughout the country, and every Finnish home had its own sauna. Today, saunas can be found not only in homes but also in public places such as hotels, sports complexes, and even offices.

Saunas in Other Cultures

Russian Banya

In Russia, there is also a long-standing tradition of steam baths. The Russian banya differs from the Finnish sauna by the use of veniks (birch twigs) and higher humidity at relatively lower temperatures.

Roman Baths

In Ancient Rome, there were public baths known as thermae. These were complex structures with various types of baths, pools, and relaxation areas. Although Roman baths were quite different from Finnish saunas, they also used the principle of heating air and water to cleanse the body.

Turkish Hammam

In Turkey and the Middle East, there are traditional baths known as hammams. These also rely on the principle of heating and steam use, but they have their own unique features and procedures.


The Finnish sauna is a unique phenomenon that arose in the harsh conditions of the North and became an integral part of Finnish culture and lifestyle. Today, saunas are widespread around the world, and each region has added its own features and traditions to this ancient custom.