Extract

Star Treatment

Galatasaray Hammam

Built in 1715 to serve a palace school, the Galatasaray Hammam, in the heart of the European quarter, has always catered to a better class of bather. Trainee diplomats steamed here, and stranded gentlemen whiled away the night. Then in the Sixties it was given a makeover and became the haunt of celebrities and spies. Today it retains its air of glamour and exclusivity

The hammam’s history goes back to 1498, when Beyazıd II built a preparatory school for bright Balkan children destined for the ultimate hothouse of Ottoman education, the Topkapı Palace school. Both the palace school and the baths serving them were later abandoned, but a new hammam – the present one– was bult on the foundations of the old in 1715, when Ahmet III revived the school in what was still virtually countryside.

The association of the school with the baths continued when the school reopened its doors as the Galatasaray Lycée in the mid-19th century and became Turkey’s school for diplomats. It was still a regular haunt of Turkish diplomats well into the 1960’s. In 1965 the hammam was overhauled at great expense, and women’s baths were added.

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Issue 41, 2009 Inside Istanbul’s Grand Hammams
£8.00 / $11.16 / 45.64 TL
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Issue 41, 2009 Inside Istanbul’s Grand Hammams
£8.00 / $11.16 / 45.64 TL
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