How important is a ladies bathroom ?

We visit places of worships, museums or historical monuments. We talk about the great architecture, memorable history and interesting lifestyles related to them. Mostly these stories are built around the affluent and powerful residents of the place.
How often do we talk about a common man or his living habits ? Or much obvious things ?

Almost never.

One such place is bathroom. One of the most neglected rooms in a common household. We must have seen large sized ‘bath-halls’ of kings & queens with a pool and other comforts where there were tens of servants to cater to smallest needs. But what about a common household ? Have you ever wondered how in a particular community a lady used to take bath ?

Today I’ll tell you how and where Portuguese lady of a common household used to take bath in older days. Well, not only Portuguese but I guess British ancestors also did the same.

This is a typical ladies bathroom in any middle class family of a Portuguese household.

The slanted ceiling of the bathroom is made of wooden planks. Outer wall of the bathroom normally has a painting of a naked woman indicating it to be a ladies bathroom. At window level there is a shelf with an oil lamp which is to be lit when the bathroom is occupied.
Just below this shelf there is a fireplace with wood logs and this also has a clay stove on the other side of this wall.

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Now on the inside i.e. inside the bathroom, a large copper vessel with water is kept on the clay stove. And a ‘lota‘ (mug) made of brass is used to take water from this vessel.
The floor is made of stone. Generally both the toilet and bathing area are separate. I will talk about the toilets later.

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I have seen one on slightly different lines in my great grandmother’s native place. Since we were ruled by the British, I think it must have come from them.

P.S. – This was the answer in response to my quiz about this naked lady.

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4 thoughts on “How important is a ladies bathroom ?

  1. Thanks for the wonderful information and photographs. I was in Goa for a year but could not get a glimpse into a Portuguese home.

    It is true that bathrooms are often neglected, but an important part of our lifestyle. I guess bathrooms could tell, to an extent, the standard of living.

    Thanks again. The painting on the bathroom wall is wonderful!

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