Hammam Meskhoutine or “The Bath of the Cursed” is a fascinating formation to visit while travelling through Algeria. It is located in the region of Guelma and is famous for its warm waters and extraordinary cascades.
The Hammam Meskhoutine Legend
The legend tells of a powerful tribe that lived in this beautiful region of Algeria. The main character of the story is a child that was very intelligent and showed constant superiority when he played games with the other children. Once the child became a man, he was the most courageous warrior of the entire tribe and nothing seemed able to stop him. In vain has the wise men tried to persuade him that his strength and power needs to be controlled. He was, however, not willing to trust anything but his own strengths. He also had a sister. She was the most beautiful woman and wanted to marry her. He organized the wedding and the celebration was on the most beautiful hillside of the valley. Those who didn’t want to witness this this marrage left. Others chose to support the warrior and even found a Cadi (judge) to legitimate their union. The people that fled the wedding didn’t return to this place for some time. Once they did, they couldn’t believe what they saw. The married and their guests stood petrified the moment they were formalizing the union, the corrupted Cadi tried to flee the scene in vain. He was petrified too. The same scene stands today, the married still looking at each other while the judge is frozen on the other side of the mountain.
This is how Hammam Meskhoutine got its name. Its warm waters exceed the temperatures of the Icelandic geysers. With temperatures of 97 degrees Celsius (about 207 degrees Fahrenheit), the Hammam Meskhoutine waters pour nearly 100,000 liters a minute. Over time, the water had formed fascinating shapes offering outstanding photo opportunities.