The Çemberlitas Bath
Divanyolu Street , Istanbul, Turkey
www.cemberlitashamami.com - +90-212-522 79 74, 212-520 18 50
The Çemberlitas Bath Istanbul Reviews
Turkish bath 'Hammam' Oct 03, 2012
The Çemberlitas Bath is located on Çemberlitas Square on Divanyolu Street situated in the midst of some of Istanbul’s greatest monuments. It is next to the Vezirhan monument erected by Constantine I (324 – 327). The Köprülü Mahmud Pasa complex with its mosque, school and tombs are directly opposite the bath and at its sides are the Vezir Han and the old university building. Also in the near vicinity of the bath are the tomb of Sultan Mahmut II and its treasury, the Köprülü Library, the Atik Pasa Mosque and school and the tomb of Ali Baba.
The bath was established by Nurbanu Sultan, wife of Selim II and mother of Murat III, for the purpose of bringing in revenue to support the Valide-i Atik Charity Complex in Toptasi, Üsküdar. According to the Tuhfet’ül-mi’mârin (1), the bath is one of the structures built by the architect Sinan, in 1584.
The Çemberlitas Hamam was planned as a double bath consisting of two identical, side-by-side facilities. The entrance for the men’s section is on Vezir Han Street and, because the road height has increased over time, it now has a deep entrance that is ten steps below street level. There are eaves over the entrance and on top of the entrance door there is an inscription with six lines in three columns. In the past the entrance for the women’s section must have been from the Divanyolu Street adjacent to the tomb of Sultan Mahmut, but today women also use the men’s entrance and proceed to their own section through a side door. Part of the dressing room in the women’s section was lost when the Divanyolu street was widened in 1868. The side that was cut off was closed with a wall that has rectangular windows on the bottom and star shaped ones at the top. The dressing room areas of the men and women’s sections are both roofed with large domes. There are three tiers of dressing rooms under these domes that were in the past both illuminated with windowed, dome- top cupolas called ‘roof lanterns.’ Today only the lantern in the women’s section remains in its original state. The dome topped by this lantern rests on arches leaning on fine columns and is elegantly decorated. Today the men’s dressing room area, called the ‘cold area,’ is a quiet and restful area used as a resting and waiting place after the bath.
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