13 Aralık 2013 Cuma

The Best Istanbul Hammams

Islam and hammams
In Islamic religion ablution is obligatory for praying and other worships. Therefore, great importance is given to bathing.
In fact, in the first period of Islam, hammam have been banned to Muslims. Subsequently, firstly the men and then the women have been allowed to go to the bathhouse with the condition to use pestemal. Thus, the foundations of the double bath application have been laid and this application has come up today with the Turkish Baths.
Double bath consists of two buildings that located adjacent to each other which have got separated entrances for men and women.
In those days, women were bathing in the day time, as for men were bathing very early in the morning or late at night in the hammam of single bath application.

Turkish Bath Past to Present

Turks began to build closed areas for bathing since the fourteenth century. The Seljuk bath (located on the border of Turkey- Armenia) is thought to be the first hammam building of Anatolia.
Many hammams have been constructed all around of the Ottoman Empire primarily in the capital city Istanbul. Since then Turkish bath has been an indispensable symbol of Turkish culture with its pestemal, rubber, marble basin and the like. Turkish bath culture has been transferred from generation to generation and has reached to the present.
Also many spas have been built on a wide geography that the Ottoman Empire was located. The aim here was to good use of the hot spring water in the territory of the empire.
Some of the Ottoman Baths have been built adjacent to a mosque that inside of a building complex which, called as kulliye, others while have been built as a single building. In that period Hammams have been run by only the waqfs (charitable organisation). Maintenance and other expenses of mosques, medresseh and soup kitchen (place which served free food to the poor and to others, such as madrasah students) have been covered by the revenue of hammams. All the time Hammams have been protected well because of bringing revenue.
After the second half of the nineteenth century in Istanbul private hammams have been beginning to be built that not related to the waqfs.

The Architectural Characteristics of Great Domed Turkish Hammams

For centuries Turkish hammams continues to exist as one of the major components of the Ottoman and Turkish culture. Historical Turkish hammams that surrounded by embroidered walls on all sides are architectural wonders.
Turkish Hammams are of great importance in terms of art and architecture. They have the same architectural features of the mosque. The architectural style of hammam has not changed for thousands of years. Some of the architectural features of Roman Baths also continued during the Ottoman period. The hot room of the hammam (sicaklik) was built on bricks in both periods. The burning fire in kulhan (the boiler room) -which is right next to hot room- is heats the hammam by passing through the channels called as cehennemlik (stokehole). The smoke is thrown out of smokestacks that have been placed into the walls which, made of baked earthenware.

There are three parts to the Turkish hammam;
  1. Changing rooms;
It consists of a large hall and the stone benches in the vicinity of the hall. People lie down on the benches to have a rest after bathing in the hammam.

    2. The hot room (sicaklik);

This section of the hammam consists of two parts including the cool room and the bath. Be entered to the hot room by passing the cool room. There are three separate sections in the hot room including the marble basin (common bathing place), halvet (partially enclosed bathing cubicle) and middle stone (heated marble platform to lie on for sweating)

    3.Boiler room (kulhan);

Kulhan -where the fire burn- is at the bottom of the bath. The flame and the smoke rising from the fire pass through the special channels which are inside the walls and then exits from the chimney.

Want to steam away the travel grime in Istanbul's famed hamams but confused by the rituals? Here's a simple guide to keeping your cool.
  • First, talk to the receptionist (most of them speak English) and decide on the level of treatment you want. DIY wash? Wash with attendant? Oil massage with that? You'll pay the receptionist and they'll take you to a change area, usually your own lockable room, where you'll undress and leave your things.
  • 'Undress' means pretty much what you want it to mean. Most hamams have separate steam rooms for men and women. In this situation, men are expected to maintain a certain loin-clothy level of coverage, but women can throw caution, as it were, to the winds. Most Turkish women subtly drape themselves with their cloth when they're not actually bathing, but if you prefer to bask nude no-one will bat much of an eyelid. If you're feeling shy, part or all of a swimsuit is acceptable; if you find yourself in the kind of hamam that has mixed-sex steam rooms and male attendants, it's usual to keep on at least the bottom half of a swimsuit.
  • The attendants will give you a cloth (resembling, in most establishments, an over-sized red gingham tea towel). You'll keep this on to travel from the change rooms to the hamam.
  • You'll be given some shoes by your attendant - either traditional wooden clogs or fluorescent flip-flops. Stick with 'em. As a surface for pratfalls, only banana skins beat out wet marble.
  • Once you've been shepherded into the hamam you'll be left to lounge on the heated marble. In most cases, there'll be a göbektaşı (belly stone), a round central platform where you can loll around like a sunning python. If not, take a seat and lean against the walls. The idea is to sweat, loosening dirt and toxins in preparation for your wash.
  • If you're going self-service, follow this up with a loofah-and-soap rub-down and douse yourself with water from the marble basins. If you've forked out for an attendant, they'll catch up with you after you've had a good, 15-minute sweat. You'll be laid down on the edge of the göbektaşı and sluiced with tepid water, then your attendant will take you in hand.
  • First up is a dry massage with a kese (rough mitt). Depending on your attendant, this experience can be delicious (a little like being washed by a giant cat) or tumultuous (picture a tornado made of sandpaper). If you get to feeling like a flayed deer, use the international language of charade to bring it down a notch or two.
  • Next will be the soap. The attendant will work up an almighty lather with an enormous sponge and squeeze it all over you: it's a bit like taking a bubble bath without the bath. The foam (attar of roses? Asses' milk? Sorry, it's most likely good ole Head 'n' Shoulders) will be worked into every inch of you. Next, more sluicing, followed by a shampoo, and voila, you're clean as a whistle. The shiny kind.
  • If you've ordered an oil massage, you'll be ushered into another room for it. Unless you're particularly flush, it's probably best to skip this bit: the massages are brief and often lack finesse, and the oils are hardly deluxe.
  • After the massage, either soap or oil, you're on your own. Many tourists splash-and-dash their way through the hamam experience, leaving immediately after their treatment. Don't be one of them. Hang around. Overheat, cool down with a dousing, and repeat to fade. Let your muscles turn to toffee and your mind go pleasantly elastic. This is what the hamam is really all about.

Famous Historical Istanbul Baths

The Cemberlitas Hammam;

It had built by Nurbanu Sultan (the mother of Sultan Murad III) in 1584. This elegant structure shows that it is the work of Mimar Sinan. The six-line inscription at the entrance of the bathhouse has remained with the original version.
The changing places have been closed with 18 meters wide domes. The square planned hot room (sicaklik) has got a cornered formation consisting of 12 columns. There are domed cubicle spaces on the corners. This cubicle spaces has been separated by couplet written marble separators.
Marble covered floor has been decorated with colored stones. The horizontal size of the middle stone is unequaled.
The Cemberlitas Hammam serves as a double bath (Consists of two buildings adjacent to each other including two separate sections for men and women).
It is one of the best, cleanest and most well maintained Hammams of Istanbul.
English speaking staff is working.
Discount applied to the tourists with international student ID. Credit card is accepted.
Phone: 0090 212 520 18 50 / 0090 212 520 15 33 
Web: www.cemberlitashamami.com.tr
 The Hammam is open between 6:00a.m and 12:00 p.m.

The Cagaloglu Hammam;

It was built in 1741 by Sultan I. Mahmoud with the aim of bringing in revenue to Hagia Sophia Mosque.
The Cagaloglu Hammam which, located in the Sultanahmet district is one of the biggest Hammam of Istanbul that was built lastly.
All the architectural beauty of the structure has been kept until today.
There is an original inscription with a verse of Koran, above the entrance door.
It is entered through the marble door to the building (with a different style of early Ottoman Hammams).
The changing rooms of the men's section are quite spacious and bright. Baroque styled fountain pool in the same section is very striking.
There are eight marble columns with graven tops, four cubicle spaces and octagonal middle stone in the square planned hot room (sicaklik).
The hot cubical space is used as sauna at the present.
The baroque style that was used in the architecture of this Hammam is the beginning of the foreign trends in Turkish architecture.
The hammam still serves as a double bath.
It is one of the best Hammams of Istanbul.
The staff speaks in English.
There is a restaurant-bar at the entrance of the men's section. Reservation required for dinner.
Credit card is accepted.
Phone: 0090 212 522 24 24/ 0090 212 512 85 53 
Web: www.cagalogluhamami.com.tr
For women is open between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.,
For men is open between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.

The Oruculer Hammam;

The Oruculer Hammam is one of the best and cleanest hammams of Istanbul. Therefore it is recommended. It is located at the Oruculer gate of Grand Bazaar in Beyazıt. The exact date of construction is unknown. It is estimated that built before 1489.
The most important features of the Hammam;
To located on right next to the Grand Bazaar that visited by tourists,
The bright, beautiful embroidered wooden roof lantern that covering the top of changing rooms,
The original inlaid marble tearoom (this structure that built in 1853 has been added to the hammam subsequently)
The wall tiles adorning the top of entrance door,
Clean and well maintained changing rooms,
Attentive service understanding
Phone: 0090 212 527 92 63
The Hammam is open between 6:00a.m and 23:00 p.m.

The Suleymaniye Hammam;

It has been built in 1577 by Mimar Sinan together with The Suleymaniye Kulliye (a complex of buildings adjacent to a mosque).
The Hammam in Beyazit is the work of Mimar Sinan’s master builder period.
This work reflects the genius of Mimar Sinan.
It attracts attention with its beauty and wideness. Mimar Sinan was always taking bath in Suleymaniye Hammam which was very close to his house. The cubicle spaces that used by him are still being protected.
The Hammam inaugurated by Sultan Suleiman (Suleiman the Magnificent). After the ceremony, Suleiman entered to the Hammam for bathing.
The spacious and bright hot room section of this Hammam is consisting of three iwans and four cubicle spaces. The eight marble columns surrounding the middle stone and the barrel vaults between the columns are the unique examples of the Turkish architecture.
The Suleymaniye Hammam is a touristical Turkish bath. It is one of the best Istanbul Hammams.
Phone: 0090 212 520 34 10
Web: www.suleymaniyehamami.com.tr
 The Hammam is open between 6:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

Galatasaray Hammam;

Galatasaray Hammam has been built in 1715 in Beyoglu. In 1965, the women's section has been added to the hammam.
This well maintained and beautiful Turkish bath is located in Beyoglu District.
It is adjacent to the Sultan's School Galatasaray Lice (Lycée de Galatasaray).
The Hammam had been used by school students for many years. The bath house has lost its originality after the restoration work in 1965. The women's section has added to the bath during the restoration.
The changing part of the Hammam is very clean and eye-catching. There is a fountain pool which was added in 1965 to the Turkish bath.
The pasha halvet (cubicle space) in the hot room attracts the attention with its beauty. The terra-cotta marble bordures on the walls of the bathhouse are giving a distinctive beauty to the structure.
In the past, The Galatasaray Hammam was the haunt of riche people. They were certainly going to this Hammam after the drinking bout.
Nowadays, it is one of the most popular Turkish Baths for tourists because of its beauty.
There is an opportunity of closing the Hammam to other people (for groups which can provide minimum twenty people).
Phone: 0090 212 252 42 42 b
Web: www.galatasarayhamami.com
For women is open between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.,
For men is open between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Buyuk Hammam (The Grand Hammam);

The Grand Hammam is one of the best hammams of Istanbul.
It has been built in 1533 by Mimar Sinan together with the mosque which is located just next to the hammam.
The Grand Hammam is located in Kasimpasa district of Istanbul. There are spacious and bright changing places in both women's and men's sections.
There is a large and modern swimming pool in the Hammam. This pool is only serving to the men and can be used by paying an extra fee.
Subsequently, a sauna has been added to the large domed hot room section (sicaklik).
The magnificence of the bathhouse is unfolded by the 60 marble basins inside.
Phone: 0090 212 253 42 29
For women is open between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.,
For men is open between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.

Cinili Hammam (The Tiled Hammam);

This Turkish bath has been built in 1648 in Üsküdar. The Hammam has succeeded to maintain its original structure until today. Hammam has taken the name from the Tiled Mosque.
It is located in Fatih-Zeyrek district of Istanbul.
The Tiled Hammam is one of the most beautiful examples of Ottoman hammam architecture.
It had built by the commander of the naval forces Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha to Mimar Sinan in 1546.
The women and men sections of hammam have the same architectural style.
The Hammam is entered from the spacious and bright domed changing section. The dome height of the men's section is 18.5 meters. There is a fountain pool in this section. This pool is made of a single piece of marble and thought to be a present, which have been given by the King of Iran. Unfortunately, the sixteenth-century Iznik tiles that used to be in the Hammam has not been possible protect until present.
The tiles in the Hammam have been added subsequently to the structure.
There are hexagonal tiles on the doors of cubicle spaces and there are two lines of inscriptions under each tile.
Phone: 0090 212 631 88 83
For women is open between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.,
For men is open between 6:30 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.

The Kilic Ali Pasha Hammam;

The Hammam and the mosque (next to the hammam) had built by the commander of the naval forces Kilic Ali Pasha to Mimar Sinan in 1583.
This beautiful Turkish Hammam is located in the Tophane district of Istanbul.
The changing place of Hammam is bright, large and magnificent as in other works of Mimar Sinan.
It serves as a single bath.
Phone: 0090 212 293 70 37 
The Hammam is open between 6:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

The Aga Hammam;

This bath is located in Beyoglu Istiklal Street.
It had built by Yakup Aga in 1562 (with the aim of bringing revenue to the lighthouse in Anatolian Side's Fenerbahce district).
It has spent a lot of changes until recently and it has lost the original structure.
The Aga Hamm am has been rebuilt according to modern architectural style, between the years of 1908-1930.
It is one of the few Hammams of Istanbul that 24-hours open.
For this reason, it is a haunt for the well-known persons in Istanbul's night life.
Phone: 0090 212 249 50 27 
For men is open 7 days, 24 hours,
For women is open between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. (every day except Sundays)

The Haseki Hurrem Hammam;

It has been built in 1556 by Mimar Sinan. This wonderful building is seventy-five meters of lenght.
The magnificent domes of the building are covering the top of entrance and the changing places. Male and female sections of the bath are located in back to back.
This Turkish bath is in a seldom seen beauty.
It has got an air of a very magnificent with the domes, which have been placed on an octagonal platform on the walls rising from the flat.
The Haseki Hurrem Hammam does not serve as a public bath anymore.
At the present time, it is used as a gift shop under the Ministry of Tourism. It is very advisable to visit as a historical place.

by turkishhammams.com

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