My Amazing Turkish Bath Experience at Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam in Instanbul, Turkey
Updated: Jun 14, 2021
About The Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Haman (Turkish bath)
“The Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam in Istanbul was designed and built by Mimar Sinan, the chief Ottoman architect. It was built at the request of Hurrem Sultan (Roxelana), the wife of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century (1556-1557 AD). It was built where the ancient public baths of Zeuxippus (100-200 AD) used to stand, between the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. The area is also particularly significant as the site where the Temple of Zeus once stood”
Out of all the Turkish bathhouses in Istanbul, I was drawn to this one not only because of its beauty but also because of the fascinating story of Hurrem Sultan. At first, she was a victim of being kidnapped and then gifted to Suleiman the Magnificent. Instead of just being a servant, she ended up becoming his wife. She was the first imperial consort to receive the title Haseki Sultan and is one of the most powerful and influential women in Ottoman history. This bathhouse was built for her.
The Bath Procedure:
The hammam journey begins in the hot room. The attendant will leave you here to relax and sweat. This hot section of the Turkish bath is designed so that rays of sunlight filter into the room from a high central dome, illuminating the steam and creating a magical feeling. After laying on the heating stone for about 15 minutes, the attendant will enter and instruct you to lie down on the marble floor while they scrub your entire body with the kese (a course mitt) to remove any layers of dead skin. Their main goal is to extract the impure, dead skin cells on your body and allow you to start fresh. Once scrubbed, you will be washed. Then you will take your place back on the heated stone in the hottest section, where your attendant will be waiting for you with a lacy, foam-filled cloth for a bubble massage—followed by another wash.
Once you are clean, you are then given a robe to relax in a different section, or you can enjoy the other treatments. They offer many different bath packages.
I tried this one: AB-I HAYAT (It's the most expensive package, but it's worth it!)
Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam is the perfect place to experience this unique ritual!