İstanbul’s Bathhouses - GeziBilen

İstanbul’s Bathhouses

First, a few words describing what a bathhouse is. For the Ottoman culture, a bathhouse was not only a place where one washed and cleaned one's body, but people believed that they purified their soul there as well. As every house did not have a fountain in those times, and it was accepted that running water was cleaner than still water, people often went to bathhouses to wash themselves also due to their faith. 

As a result of this belief and philosophy, the Ottomans had a great number of bathhouses built in many locations in İstanbul. A bathhouse was an important and indispensable part particularly in buildings erected in the form of a Külliye, a social complex. In advance we wish you a bathhouse experience with lots of foam and steam bath, and if you wish, you can also enjoy a cold water bath accompanied by a fresh smell of soap. Now let's have a look at the most historical and most beautiful bathhouses in İstanbul we specially selected for you. But please keep in mind that there are at least two or three bathhouses of historical value in almost every district of İstanbul. 

The Historical Galatasaray Bathhouse

This bathhouse dates back to 1481. Of course, it has a legend as well… Legend has it that while having a walk in the area Sultan Beyazıt saw a cottage at the place where this bathhouse stands today. It belonged to Gül Baba, a respected personality in those days. Sultan Beyazıt met him and asked him whether he had a wish from him. In response, Gül Baba said he wanted that a big social complex with a school and a bathhouse with domes should be built there, which would stand the test of time for centuries. So is the story of the Galatasaray Bathhouse that has survived for centuries now.

Address: Kuloğlu Mah., Turnacıbaşı Cad., No: 8, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Telephone: 0212 252 42 42

The Historical Gedikpasha Bathhouse

It is a structure built by Hayrettin the Architect, the second most senior architect after Sinan the Architect in the Ottoman Empire. This wonderful bathhouse built in 1475 by the order of Gedik Ahmet Pasha provides a mystic ambiance to its visitors.

Address: Gedikpaşa Mah., Hamam Cad., No: 61, Fatih/İSTANBUL

Telephone: 0212 517 89 56

Kiliç Ali Pasha Bathhouse

Kılıç Ali Pasha Bathhouse is located within the social complex of Chief Admiral Kılıç Ali Pasha has been serving its visitors for almost 500 years, offering them an experience of the Ottoman bath culture. Today it is a must for every visitor in İstanbul.

Address : Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mah., Hamam Sok., No: 1, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Telephone : 0212 393 80 10

Historical Üsküdar Şifa (Healing) Bathhouse

This is the oldest public bathhouse in the district of Üsküdar. In this structure dating back to the 15th century based on a double bathhouse plan, you feel yourself hundreds of years back in history.

Address: Telephone:

Telephone: 0216 343 24 53 – 0216 492 23 08

Çinili Bathhouse / Bathhouse With China Tiles

This bathhouse with china tiles was built in 1640 by Kösem Sultan, one of the most prominent personalities in the Ottoman Empire… The structure that has managed to stand the test of time provides the visitor with a historical ambiance.

Address: Çavuşdere Cad., Muratreis Mah., No: 204 Üsküdar / İSTANBUL

Telephone: 0216 553 15 93 – 0216 334 97 10

Mihrimah Sultan Bathhouse

The building of this bathhouse that was commissioned by Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent to Mimar Sinan, the Chief Ottoman Architect, for Mihrimah Sultan, his daughter, as part of a social complex was completed in 1565. It has served people for hundreds of years, cleaning their bodies and also, as people believe, nourishing and purifying their souls. It is famous for its foam massage; if you visit this bath, you should absolutely try it.

Address: Karagümrük Mah., Fevzi Paşa Cad., No: 333, 34091 Fatih/İstanbul

Telephone: 0212 523 04 87

Cağaloğlu Bathhouse

Now that we are talking of bathhouses, let's tell you about a related tradition: Bride Bath, a tradition cultivated by Turks… Every prospective bride comes here with her close friends and relatives a few days before the wedding, and they all take part in an entertainment event. The main purpose of this event that resembles a henna night is to provide them enjoyment and entertainment. They eat specialities of the Turkish cuisine such as stuffed vine leaves, bulgur salad, homemade pastries, and season's fruit, all put on plates on the stone platform used for massages at the centre, particularly before wedding ceremonies held in the spring and summer months. Thus, they play a tambourine, sing songs, enjoying and entertaining themselves. Now a few words about the history of this bathhouse.

This bathhouse built in 1741 was the first bathhouse constructed in the empire after a long interval… It was built to generate income for the Sultan Mahmut Library within Haghia Sophia. But let’s cut the story short so as not to bore you. If you visit this bathhouse, the light beams that flow into the building through the star-, square- and hexagon-shaped windows at the ceiling will fascinate you. Mark my word.

Address: Alemdar Mah., Profesör Kazım İsmail Gürkan Cad., No: 34, 34110, Fatih/İstanbul

Telephone: 0212 522 24 24 – 0541 622 81 36

Çemberlitaş Bathhouse

You can be assured that in this bathhouse you will feel as if you were in a fairy tale land. The Çemberlitaş Bathhouse is like a mysterious chest in which Mimar Sinan, the master of the Masters who built this structure, hid his eyes, hands, dreams, thoughts as well as his engineering approaches that fascinate everybody even today.

Address: Çemberlitaş Mah., Vezirhan Cad., No: 8, 34440, Fatih/İstanbul

Telephone: 0212 522 79 74

Süleymaniye Bathhouse

Süleymaniye Bathhouse is accepted as one of the most impressive structures built in the tradition of Ottoman architecture. As its name suggests, it was built by Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent as part of the Süleymaniye Social Complex. This bathhouse built in 1557 next to the Süleymaniye Mosque which Mimar Sinan described as ''work of my foremanship period'' will make you feel like a sultan or a monarch.

Address: Süleymaniye Mah., Mimar Sinan Cad., No: 20, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul

Telephone: 0212 519 55 69

Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Bathhouse

You may have noticed that, while talking about the bathhouse culture, we have mainly made mention of Mimar Sinan as a distinguished person in this field. At this point, we remember him with his own words on his work: ''I hope that noble-minded humans shall visit my works forever so long as the world exists, and seeing my works in a critical, but a fair way, they will cherish my memory with a word of prayer and praise, if God wills it so, inshallah.''

OK, now a few words about the historical background of the bathhouse. This bathhouse that was built by Sinan the Architect upon order of Hürrem Sultan, wife of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, is the most spectacular one among the bathhouses constructed in the 16th century. The construction of the structure was initiated in 1556 and completed in 1557 after one year of hard work. It is also an important structure due to its location, namely that it was built on the site where once stood the historical Baths of Zeuksippos that collapsed to the ground in 532 A.D.

Address: Cankurtaran Mah., Ayasofya Meydanı, No: 2, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul

Telephone: 0212 517 35 35

Comments

  • gunessygz
    22.03.2023 10:58

    Çinili hamamı duymuştum nasip olursa gidicem.

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