Detail from « Map of the city and harbours of Alexandria ». Watercolour, Louis-Jacques Bourgeois, circa 1799, 1/4,000

At the end of the 18th century, four public baths were in operation in Alexandria, all outside the new town that had grown up on the peninsula. The engineers of the Army of the East were particularly interested in the double hammam to the south of the Sea Gate that was supplied by an aqueduct. This bathhouse, which has now disappeared, was laid out in two identical sections, one for men and the other for women. In each part, the customers undressed and relaxed in a spacious vestibule, the cold room, before entering the hot room via a winding corridor. This room was topped by a large dome pierced by a multitude of apertures paned with coloured glass, while the centre was occupied by a large heated stone bench.