How dirty were the people of Western Europe in the Middle Ages? Is it true that people really haven’t bathed or showered?

O je…… So the question arises, what is meant by the Middle Ages: the early, since High Middle Ages or the late?That is different! And let us ask about the “bathing culture”. In the Roman Empire, the bathing culture was very high, one had fresh water and sewage pipes, for bathing also warm water was used, by thermal baths and also heated by the thermal baths.

They had public toilets, some with water flushing, and (because you didn’t have ToPa) took brushes dipped in vinegar to clean the butt.

Until the early Middle Ages, i.e. until the 6th century, these deposits were still used.

But with the decline of the Roman Empire and Christianity came the prudery. Washing was to be naked and nakedness immoral! The still existing bathhouses with wooden tosses. (yes, the achievements of the Romans no longer existed). had degenerated into celebrations. You didn’t just go to the bathhouse for a bath, but also to have a bath (and have sex). Thus the church superiors liked to weather the bathhouses until they became a run-out model in the 13th and 14th centuries, the bathhouse was in disrepute and disappeared peu a peu.

Until then, the bathhouses were usually no longer used for the actual body cleansing.

They were places of communication and entertainment. There they met to exchange ideas; but it was also eaten, drunk and played. Depending on the size of the tub, people bathed in large tubs in pairs or with up to fifteen people of both sexes.

The water was heated in a wood-fired incandescent furnace, which also provided hot steam.And the bader provided for the “health” otherwise: The baths were added to the treatment of skin diseases, among other things herbs and fragrant essences. The setting of leeches was part of the offer as well as ointments against headaches and toothache and even small surgical procedures were carried out here.

The needs of bathers for culinary and alcoholic pleasures, amorous adventures and gambling soon called the Church on the plan.A ban on men and women bathing together was quickly enacted, and the plague and syphylis did the rest.

Angular narrow roads partially prevented a complete supply of water and a functioning cleaning.In medieval towns, so-called erkerlatrinen and public departures on bridges were often found. The existing roads were narrow and unpaved. Waste and faeces put them in a serious condition. The pigs also romped there. Since it was not possible to enter the streets directly under these circumstances, jumping stones and wooden cones were used for running.

The waste and sanitation, on the other hand, took over the “open sewer system” of the streams and rivers.

Household waste disposal was achieved via the streets and ditches, because as the size of the cities increases, people no longer process household waste in their own garden on a kind of compost or when growing vegetables/fruit and the soil inside. the city could increase the amount of sewage, feces, etc. do not absorb. The night-time pot was emptied directly from the window onto the street.

In the late Middle Ages 15th century, at the beginning of the Baroque period, nobility almost never bathed.Very rich people bathed in milk or wine as an exception. If the king ever needed a bath, he only submerged parts of his body, and of course he endured the procedure not naked, but in a swimwear covering the body.

In most cases, husbands and wives preferred to use perfume.In exceptional cases, they rubbed off from head to toe with fine soap and a cloth (French: “toile”鈥擜CH!).

The people of the Baroque believed that the plague must have originated in the bathhouses.It was unknown that it was transmitted by fleas. The bath water was suspected and this was finally over in the Baroque period!

Because the so-called “silent place”, a separate toilet room, only came up much later.In the Baroque, what had to be done was done in the alley, behind bushes or even in hallways 鈥?above all, it happened in public. Not only with “small leaders” Also with K枚nigs! Baroque castles, from Versailles to Karlsruhe, had no bathrooms or toilets with running water. Only the wealthy could afford “sicker pits”, in which house servants sunk the excrements of the gentlemen.

It is true that the drinking water supply was initially mostly provided by a well system within the city, with deep wells, tube and wells.But these became more and more depleted: often the inhabitants siphoned off their useful water at a point of the river, which due to contamination by faeces, animal carcasses, etc. was so contaminated that the water contained a variety of pathogens and bacteria. Cholera and plague claimed the lives of thousands of people. As a result, water was no longer drunk. Even maids and servants drank thin wine or light beer instead of water.

WATER was the devil!

Only later do the achievements of hygiene slowly re-establish themselves.

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