Having been a part of the Bayezid II Complex (although the hammam (bath) was not referred to in the Bayezid II foundation certificate-charter, it’s known that it was a part of the complex) has been dated between 1507 – 1508 based on certain documents registered at the Prime Ministry Ottoman Archives. Referred to as Yeni Hamam (The New Hammam) in the records, the hammam was constructed as a double bath under protectorate of Gülbahar Hatun, spouse of Bayezid II, for use by general public.
The hammam was called as Patrona Hammam due to the rumors that Halil the tellak (bath attendant) known as Patrona Halil who played a role in preparation of the Patrona Halil Rebellion, which led to the dethroning of Ahmet III and death of Nevşehirli Damat İbrahim Paşa, worked there.
The adjacent double hammam was designed as separate hammam buildings for men and women with the same plan and its külhan (furnace) and water depots were shared. Both hammams have soyunmalık (dressing room) units with large domes towards the Ordu Road. The soyunmalık for women has a comparatively smaller design. To the north of the soyunmalık parts (cold space), there are the warm space, hot space, and the külhan unit that extends all along in the rear. The entrances to the hammams are different for men and women with men’s opening to Ordu Road while the women’s to Kimyager Derviş Paşa Street.
Featuring the plan characteristics of the classical Ottoman Baths, the double hammam was functional for a long period of time due to its large size, glory, and the fact that it was built in a settlement area, which is still significant.
Having been registered a property of Istanbul University today, the hammam could not maintain its original function similar to the other buildings of the complex except for the Bayezid Mosque, although the hammam partly preserved its organic connection with the other buildings of the complex scattered around the Bayezid Square. Even though it was not able to maintain its original function, it was considered that double hammam could be converted to a museum for the purpose of enlivening the hammam and bath culture and especially conveying that culture to the next generations, and thus work had been initiated as pioneered by İstanbul University. The hammam was converted into a museum upon a faithful restoration and opened on May 27th, 2015. (Bayezid II Hammam Restoration and Cultural Heritage Museum Modification Projects were developed in 2011 for the building that was going under restoration in line with environmental and spatial modifications in 2010. It was decided to modify the building as a museum and accordingly a commission presided by Prof. Dr. Nurhan Atasoy started restoration activities for modifications as a museum in May 2013.)
The museum was registered as a Private Museum upon the approval dated March 4th, 2015, No. 60960384.151.01-43212 of the General Directorate of Cultural Assets and Museums, Ministry of Culture.
The entrance of the museum is placed to the women’s soyunmalık section, where the security and administrative units are located. The men’s larger soyunmalık section parallel to that of women is connected by a door in between the two sections and arranged as the temporary exhibition space. Exhibition spaces for the museum artifacts can be accessed through both units. The displays of artifacts are located in bathing spaces, i.e. the warm and hot sections of the women’s and men’s hammams. The warm section of the women’s hammam also hosts archaeological architectural artifacts dated to the Byzantine and Ottoman periods and the museum provides the visitors with a rich variety of artifacts from different periods.
It is aimed to convey the place and importance of water in the daily of Ottoman society and its changes and transformation through the historical process. In that respect the ethnographic artifacts acquired via donations that reflect the Turkish hammam culture are being on display for the visitors.
Having hosted periodical exhibitions since its opening, the museum also a venue for meetings and seminars attended by speakers from different disciplines. Furthermore the museum welcomes preschool and basic education level students on the second and third Mondays of each month except for holidays with entertaining workshops with children. As a part of today’s museum approach, it is planned to increase the number of educational programs with different workshops intended for children and adults.
Situated within the “Istanbul Historical Places” included in the “World Cultural Heritage List by UNESCO in 1985, the Bayezid II Turkish Hammam Culture Museum awaits its visitors.
Short Info about the Museum Collection: The Bayezid II Turkish Hammam Culture Museum exhibits ethnographic and archaeological artifacts.
Ethnographic artifacts: (Hammam items) Copper, brass, and bronze hammam bowls, healing bowls, kildanlık (copper containers), children’s washbowl, pitcher, coffee cup trays, big round trays, kirdenlik (copper basin), bucket, water churn, lenger (large deep copper dish), sahan (shallow frying pan), stoup, copper glasses, copper coffee pots, kahvedan (coffee container), copper pot, coffee roaster, brass candle holders, tin lantern with glass, metal, glass, and ceramic items; weaved cotton hammam towels, weaved silk and cotton loinclothes, weaved cotton napkins, thin weaved cotton yağlık (large handkerchiefs), cotton, wool, and satin bohça (bagging textiles), wool and felt prayer rugs, cheesecloth headscarves, Yörük and weaved wool bath gloves, velvet soap container, textile products including three skirts and a petticoat, and olive soap, and horn and ivory combs etc.
Archaeological artifacts: Byzantine and Ottoman architectural artifacts found inside and in the proximity of the museum, which are registered to the inventory of the Directorate of Istanbul Archaeological Museums.