Extract

The Queen Mother’s Baths

Çemberlıtaş Hammam

Splendid Renaissance baths still flourish at the entrance to Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. Built for the mother of Sultan Murad III, the all-powerful Nurbânu, and opened in 1584, today the Çemberlıtaş Hammam is the liveliest of Istanbul’s grand baths and the perfect place to start

Nurbânu ordered the hammam in 1584, after rising to the powerful rank of Queen Mother – both out of charity and to provide income for her mosque across the Bosphorus in Üsküdar. Known until recently as the Valide Hamamı, or Queen Mother’s baths, they were designed by Sinan, builder of mosques for sultans, at the height of his genius.

The hand of the great Renaissance architect is evident in the gently pointed arches, lace-like marble carving and classical elegance. The baths are a soothing, contemplative contrast to the bustling bazaar a few feet away.

To read the full article, purchase Issue 41

Issue 41, 2009 Inside Istanbul’s Grand Hammams
£8.00 / $11.16 / 45.77 TL
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Issue 41, 2009 Inside Istanbul’s Grand Hammams
£8.00 / $11.16 / 45.77 TL
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