Turkish Hamam Culture Museum


Constructed by order of the mother of Selim I and one of the wives of Beyazıt II, this now-decommissioned early-16th-century hamam is one of the largest in the city. Also known as the Hamam-ı Kebır (Old Bathhouse), the square-planned building with its original male and female domed sections now functions as a museum of the hamam, with displays explaining the rituals and practicalities associated with this much-loved Turkish tradition.

Look for the pumice stones carved into animal shapes, the collection of the metal hamam bowls known as tası, the carved kıldanlık (holders for the clay that was once used as an alternative to soap) and the wooden nalın (platform bath clogs) inlaid with mother-of-pearl that wealthy women used to navigate a hamam’s slippery marble floors.

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