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Cagaloglu Hamam Turkish Bath Istanbul

Cagaloglu Hamam Turkish Bath Istanbul
This historical hamam is probably the most famous and certainly the most beautiful to be found in Istanbul and was patronised by many famous people including Florence Nightingale, Kaiser Wilhelm II, King Edward VIII, Franz Liszt and more recently Omar Sharif and Rudolf Nureyev.

Location

Cagaloglu Hamam is located in Sultanahmet district of Fatih .

History

It was built in 1741 for Sultan Mahmud I who wanted to use the revenue it made to finance the library he was building at Hagia Sophia or Aya Sofia.  
It was originally called the New (Yeni) Hamam and soon after its completion a law was passed forbidding further hamam’s being built as there were so many at the time they caused shortages of firewood and water; because of this law the Cağaloğlu is considered the last great Ottoman hamam.

Design of Cagaloglu Hamam

Not much is known about its design other than it was the chief architect Süleyman Ağa that drew the plans which were then executed by Abdullah Ağa and when it first opened it was quickly used by wealthy upmarket clientele coming from the palace and its offices.  

Visiting Cagaloglu Hamam Today

It has a double hamam with a separate entrance for both men and women; to get to the men’s section you go through a very narrow corridor with walls covered in long ago public bathing memorabilia and over the door entrance is an inscription in calligraphy recording the date of baths establishment.
The men’s hot room (hararet) is unusually square shaped with an octagonal marble slab (göbektaşı) and the bath here is much nicer than the women’s, although the women’s section is the more beautiful and both sections have lovely baroque flourishes.
The hamam is heated by burning crushed olive pips that are brought in from Ayvalik and it has made appearances in television commercials, movies and even a video for the Turkish winners of the 2003 Eurovision song contest.

Getting to Cagaloglu Turkish Bath

To get to the hamam the nearest tram stop is at Sultanahmet Square and it’s just a short walk from there.
   

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