The baths are not only a place for cleaning and bathing in Turkish life, but also a place to go to be healthy and places where cultural and social activities take place. It is inevitable to use water for life and health. This situation has caused people to establish centers such as baths and spas. In the past, baths, which only responded to the needs of cleaning and bathing, have become a part of social life in the following years, and have become centers used for cleaning and washing as well as socializing before the development of bathrooms.The Turkish bath has witnessed many social activities related to entertainment and cleaning in Anatolian culture. In fact, the bath is mostly used for health, cleaning and beauty purposes. The hot and cold water pools, aromatic foam, seaweed, clay, mud, honey and vegetable oil massages and body care techniques are applied in the baths.
Istanbul ranks higher than other provinces in terms of the number of baths. At the same time, these baths are historically very rich. So where are the historical baths in Istanbul? The answer to the question is waiting for you in this article!
We start our list of baths in Istanbul with the Çatma Mescit Hamamı in Beyoğlu. This bath, which Mimar Sinan built in 1533, is a place where you can feel the texture of history. According to the legend, the story of “Çatma Mescit Hamamı” is as follows; Mimar Sinan, the greatest genius of the Ottoman period, who guides today’s architecture, is building the “Kaşımpaşa Camii-i Kebir” and “Büyük Hamam” in the name of Kasım Pasha. Since the statesmen of that period did not want to share the “Büyük Hamam” with the public and the working class, Mimar Sinan is designing the “Çatma Mescit Hamamı” for the workers of the Haliç Shipyard construction and the public. It is decided to use the income obtained from this bath to meet the expenses of the Camii-i Kebir and the needs of the muezzin. According to another rumour; Çatma Mescit Hamamı is a work that Kasım Pasha gave to his daughter Belkıs.
This historical building, which has reached the present day, was restored last year. The hotel was later built around the bathhouse and thus the historic building remained within the luxury hotel. Therefore, it is very comfortable. Individuals and groups can make separate reservations at Çatma Mescit Hamamı. Thus, the bath area is allocated to only one person or a group. On the other hand, private massage therapists brought from Bali and Thailand are also served in the bath. In addition, except soap in the bath; edible oils, honey and milk are also used. We recommend that you call and make a reservation before going to the bath.
Address: Çatma Mescit, mahallesi, Hayratçı Sk. no 1/3, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
This bath, which is a favourite of tourists, was built in 1557 at the request of Kanuni Sultan Süleyman, one of the Ottoman sultans. The bath, which attracted a lot of attention with its original chimneys and decorations, was closed in 1924 and started to serve again in 2004 when the restoration work was completed. The famous historical bath is a unisex bath, unlike other baths. In addition, you need to make a reservation as its capacity is not very large.
Address: Süleymaniye, Mimar Sinan Cd. No 20, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul
This bath, built by Sultan Süleyman in the name of Hürrem Sultan, is located between the Hagia Sophia Museum and the Blue Mosque. Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hamamı contains a history of more than 450 years. Many of the employees have received training on this subject. Ottoman style sherbet, Turkish delight, apricot, walnut and tea offered during the relaxation will attract you. We recommend that you call and make a reservation before going to the bath.
Address: Cankurtaran, Ayasofya Meydanı No:2, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul
One of the most preferred baths in Beyoğlu is Ağa Hamamı. It was built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1454. At that time, only Fatih Sultan Mehmet and the princes could use the bath. Nowadays, the historical bath, which has become a favourite of tourists, is suitable for many baths in terms of price. We recommend that you call and make a reservation before going to the bath.
Address: Kuloğlu, Turnacıbaşı Cd. No:48, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
Mihrimah Sultan Hamamı plays an important role in Turkish Bath culture. The bath, which was built by Mimar Sinan for the daughter of Sultan Süleyman, was completed in 1565. It is stated that Sultan Süleyman built two large mosques and complexes in Üsküdar and Edirnekapı on behalf of Mihrimah Sultan, to Mimar Sinan. The interesting feature of these historical artifacts is that the sun rises behind the single minaret of the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque in Edirnekapı, while the moon rises between the two minarets of the mosque in Üsküdar. The name of Mihrimah Sultan means “Mihr ü mah” in Persian, sun and moon. We recommend that you call and make a reservation before going to the bath.
Address: Karagümrük, Fevzi Paşa Cd. No:333 D:333, 34091 Fatih/İstanbul