The word banya is of Greek origin. It means “cleansing of a body with the help of steam.” Some linguists believe the word takes roots from the Latin balneum — “something that makes pain and sadness go away.”
The first historical records about bania have been found in the 13 century documents.
A banya ( IPA: [ˈbanʲə] is originally a North European steam bath with a wood stove. The bath takes place in a small room or building designed for dry or wet heat sessions. The steam and high heat make the bathers perspire. Genders were traditionally segregated in the banya, with separate rooms for the sexes, although this may vary in modern times.(Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banya_(sauna))
What appears to be an exotic ritual today was dictated by purely practical considerations in ancient times. In the absence of soap and other hygiene products, branches with foliage served as both a washcloth and foam and exuded oils that soften the skin.
For seven centuries, the bath ritual has progressed from a purely utilitarian process to a complex action on the verge of mystery and art. Modern bathing practices are the result of centuries of selection of the most useful and enjoyable practices and techniques.
In 2007, we built Banya on the bank of Golden Lake in the Ottawa Valley, Ontario (shown in the picture above). For 14 years we provided high-quality sauna services for both experienced sauna enthusiasts and beginners who were looking for a fresh new experience. Our place was well known as “A&A resorts” or “Goldenville Cottages” – you can still see these signs when you drive on Hwy 60.
In 2021, we started a brand-new project in Ottawa, and starting in January of 2022, we began to invite everyone to enjoy the Bania.