In front of me, the most curious historical document: «the Detailed description of the trip Holstein Embassy in Muscovy and Persia». Its author Adam Olearius (Эльшлегер), German scientist and traveler, in 1633 year visited Moscow. Then in 1635-1639 years made a journey through Russia in Persia. Olearius wrote that the Russians believed the false-Dimitrii for the stranger, because he was not fond of baths, which in Russia is so common that there is not a single city or a village, in which there would be no steam bath, public or private.
A visit to one of the baths Astrakhan, Olearius notes: «the Russians can make extraordinary heat, and in the bath, lying on the shelves, told to beat myself and RUB my body hot birch brooms, which I could not bear; then, when the heat they shall be all red... they run out all naked and poured cold water; in the winter same, jumped out of the bath, they are lying in the snow, rubbed his body, as if the soap, and then, остывши thus, re-enter in a hot bath. As the baths they usually are arranged by the rivers or streams, the washable at them from the heat of the right thrown in the cold water».
And further conclusion: «the change of opposite personalities favourable to their health.»
And that's diary cameras-cadet Берхольца, who was at the court of Peter I. Read the following note: «Here in every home there is a bath, because a large part of the Russian resorts to it at least once, if not twice a week... Found I liked it very useful, and put it forward more often resort to it.»
Further Берхольц says that the Russian people «are able to give the water, which was poured on the hot furnace bricks, the degree of heat or cold, what you yourself want to...» Especially liked Берхольцу lambasting birch brooms, «that a remarkably nice, because it opens the pores and increases perspiration». «In conclusion of all, " writes the kammerjunker, - окачивают you, on request, a warm or cold water and are ahead of clean towels. At the end of all of these operations, you feel as if born again. ...Russians rush totally naked (even at the beginning of winter, when the water has not frozen) from the hot bath in the cold water and feel very good, because from childhood accustomed to it.»