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Historical Architectural Texture

Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam
The Historical and Luxurious Art of Bathing

Historical and Architectural Features

I hope that until the end of days, good hearted friends who take a look at what I have made, when they will perceive the seriousness and the spirit of my effort, can have a fair view and can invoke my name to pray for me.” Mimar Sinan, Architect

The Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam in Istanbul was designed and built by Mimar Sinan, the chief Ottoman architect. It was built at the request of Hurrem Sultan (Roxelana), the wife of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century (1556-1557 AD). It was built where the ancient public baths of Zeuxippus (100-200 AD) used to stand, between the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. The area is also particularly significant as the site where the Temple of Zeus once stood.

The hamam was operational until 1910 when it closed for many years. It was later used to house the convicts during times when the nearby Sultanahmet Prison was full. Subsequently it was a storage place for paper and oil. The Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam, one of the most beautiful monuments in Istanbul, was restored for the first time between the years 1957-1958 and was a carpet bazaar until 2007. 

Although the hamam was built in the classical period Ottoman bath style, it was an innovation in Turkish bath architecture to have the sections for men and women constructed on the same axis as mirror images of each other.

Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam, by the numbers

• The hamam was built by Mimar Sinan in 1556.
• It was used as a public bath until 1910.
• The modern restoration began in 2008.
• It took three years to restore it to its former glory with an investment of 17 million TL.
• 1300 square meters of Marmara marble were used during the restoration.
• The cold room dome height is 26 meters.
• 130 employees work within the hamam and restaurant areas.
• The warm room temperature reaches 38 degrees, the hot room temperature can get up to 47 degrees while the private alcoves (halvet) can reach 60 degrees.
• 160 gold-plated bath bowls were produced specifically for the use of our guests.
• The 50% silk and 50% cotton bath wraps (pestamal) was produced specially in Odemis, near Izmir.
• Our 100% olive oil soaps are produced specially in Edremit.