Hürrem Bath is also known as Haseki Bath, Hagia Sophia Bath or Haseki Hürrem Bath and located between the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet. The bath was built with an order of Hürrem, Hürrem was Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent’s wife, by Architect Sinan in 1556.
According to a rumor, the bath was built because Hürrem Sultan, when she was pregnant for Şehzade Cihangir, was assassinated an exposure by Haseki Gülbahar and Ibrahim Pasha. Hürrem was left alone with a snake in the bath of palace and subsequently she said to Sultan Süleyman that she wanted to make a bath built. Sultan Süleyman was connected to Hürrem Sultan with an endless love, so the request of Hürrem was a real and the bath was built immediately. According to another rumor, Hürrem built many works to various parts of Istanbul for covering the bad events that she was responsible. Actually, it was a tradition that each period’s sultans made a bath or a complex built, these rumors might be produced to take care of the historical monuments.
Hürrem Sultan Bath, Mimar Sinan’s work, is the biggest bath of Istanbul and it has a classic Ottoman bath style. As the first of Ottoman architecture, the double bath’s male and female sections were conducted on the same axis. Woman and men wouldn’t come across with each other; it has accordance with the Islamic virtues. The hot sections of female and male’s parts are adjacent; however, the dressing sections of them are located on axis’ different ends. The monument has maintained its beauty with its aesthetic appearance and harmonious rates until today.
Men’s section is different from the other baths. The middle dome of the bath shaped with a porch, it was resembled an entering of a mosque also it was adorned with bricks. Hot section’s plan forms of a cross and there is a central stone decorated with mosaics. Basins of the bath reflect the elegance of Ottoman life and the basins has reached today.
Hürrem Bath remaining closed for many years had been used as a coal- fuel tank and it was restored in 1957-58. Then it was restored again in 1980 and opened as one of the Istanbul Festival’s exhibition venues. Until 2008 in the bath carpets has been produced and sell. The bath was restored in 2008 again and opened in May 2011, now it is available for using as a bath. If you have a chance to visit the bath, you will feel the impact of it.
Haseki Hürrem Sultan (Ayasofya) Bath House
Construction year: 1556-1557
The city it is located in: İstanbul
The borough it is located in: Eminönü
The neighbourhood it is located in: Sultanahmet
Address: Ayasofya Meydanı Street, Sultanahmet, Eminönü
How to reach the place: As you get off the tram at the Sultanahmet stop across from the Hagia Sophia, you will find the Haseki Hürrem Sultan Bath House (Aya Sofya Hamamı). It is across from the entrance to the Hagia Sophia.