This historical bath located in the Cağaloğlu
neighborhood near the Underground Cistern. A plan for the bath was designed by Süleyman Ağa, one of the palace architechs, by order of Sultan Mahmut I in order to provide revenue for both his library and the Ayasofya Mosque (Hagia Sophia). It was then built by Abdullah Ağa in 1741.
Before its construction, the palace built by Nevşehirli Damat İbrahim Paşa stood on its location. The palace was destroyed by a fire in 1740, and the Cağaloğlu Bath was erected on its site. Essentially, the bath consists of two sections, a men’s section and ladies’ section. The entrance door of the ladies’ section is located on a side street called Hamam Street, and the men’s section is found on the main road .
Several architectural innovations are found in the bath’s design which draws the attention of its visitors who have never seen a combination of Baroque and Classical Ottoman style architecture. It is also the last of the great hamams built in the city during the Ottoman era.
The Camekan of Cağaoğlu Hamam, a court surrounded by small individual changing rooms, is covered by a wide dome. There are changing rooms which surround the Camekan which are built on consolidated beams. In the middle of the Hamam, there is a wide pool that is made of a massive marble block, and in the middle of the pool, there is a splendid fountain. The wide dome in the lukewarm section (ılıklık) is raised upon four marble columns and seven cradle-shaped domes that form the roof of the structure which extends from the lukewarm section into the harare (hot section). The hot section, raised upon eight embroidered columns, is covered by a wide dome that dazzles with its grandeur.
The Cağaloğlu Hamam has been in service for two hundred seventy-six years. Today, it is still in operation, and the vast majority of its visitors are foreign tourists.
Translated by Mr. Irfan KOKSAL