“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.