Thursday, 27 July 2017

Hammam Maskhoutine Springs in Algeria

Hamman Maskhoutine, is also called “bath of the damned" is a thermal complex and commune located in Hammam Debagh, of Guelma Province, Algeria. The dramatic, multicolored travertine walls of the spring have attracted thousands of visitors since the era of the Roman Empire. The bath facilities installed by the Romans at the spring can still be used today. Hammam Maskhoutine is also used to refer to the hot springs and the legend that named the town. Hammam Dbegh is the official name of the town itself, and Hammam Chellala is the name of the thermal complex and cascade. During the Roman occupation, the town was called Aquae Thiblitanae, due to its proximity to Thibilis.
The amazing Hammam Meskhoutine hot springs have formed numerous amazing travertine formations including approximately 30 m tall mound with beautiful rimstone pools and petrified waterfalls. Most impressive group of powerful springs mound flow Travertine for most part is bright white but there are several places where the iron compounds and microorganisms have colored the travertine in various shades of red, orange and brown. Interesting formations are also several travertine trenches surrounded by walls have been formed by lime-rich thermal water flowing towards the river and precipitating the lime along its way. Some smaller ones are still "active" - with thermal water flowing through them. Some are older and "abandoned" by water, dry and crumbling.
The water is saturated with minerals such as iron and calcium carbonate. These minerals, as well as the heat, have been regarded as therapeutic for sufferers of ailments such as rheumatism and arthritis. Hammam Maskhoutine is actually a group of 10 different hot springs in a single valley. The temperature of the water in the springs can be as hot as 98 °C even can boil eggs in the outflow channels. There are many springs around the world which have same and higher temperature. Water in the springs has rather low mineralisation, with low levels of lime, chlorine and some iron salts. The overall flow rate of the thermal complex is 1,650 liters per second: approximately 100,000 liters per minute. On the site there are also numerous formations of conoid shapes.
A sad story behind the Arabic names of this town when a loval legend in which a man married his sister. As the wedding procession, including the incestuous couple, moved up the valley, a curse caused the skies to darken, and the whole wedding party was struck with lightning and turned into stone. Thus, the billowing shapes of the Hammam Maskhoutine spring are believed to come from the still-frozen wedding party and their celebratory robes. In spite of this horrific story the area around Hammam Meskhoutine is peaceful, pastoral and green. These springs have been well known since the antiquity, thus around 6 km long distance along the right bank of Chédakha River are scattered numerous thermal springs.

No comments:

Post a Comment