Çatma Mescit Hammam History

Çatma Mescit Hammam’s History

Allow us to introduce Çatma Mescit Hammam history: Çatma Mescit Hammam, designed and built by the Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan.
A blend of old tradition with modern luxury…

Çatma Mescit Hammam in Turkey, located in the heart of Istanbul, was built in 1533 by the famous architect Mimar Sinan. This historic hammam carries centuries of tradition and culture within its walls and has given its name to the surrounding neighborhood. Rumour has it that it was originally built for Vizier Kasim Pasha’s daughter upon her request. We take great pride in preserving its original purpose, giving our guests a unique and authentic Turkish bath session.

The building has separate rooms. The temperatures of these rooms gradually change as you move on and your body accumulates to the heat, which is the typical structure of Turkish bathhouses. In the warm room, heat was generated by underground furnaces filled with hot water. The steam produced was channeled underground and maintained by workers known as ‘Külhanbeyi’. Today, you can still see how this system operates at the Çatma Mescit Hammam.

How Did Çatma Mescit Hammam Get Its Name?

The captivating origins of “Çatma Mescit Hammam” add an extra layer of fascination to this historic landmark. While the exact reason behind the name remains shrouded in mystery, there are several stories behind it.

The first one is a tale of exclusivity:

One theory suggests that the name “Çatma Mescit” is derived from the word “çatma,” which means “addition” in Turkish. 

This theory aligns with the idea that the hammam was constructed as an additional facility to complement the Kasım Paşa Mosque. 

According to this narrative, the prominent statesmen and pashas who frequented the Büyük (Grand) Hammam following the completion of the mosque sought a more private bathing experience. In response, Mimar Sinan designed Çatma Mescit Hammam using leftover construction materials from the mosque, thus providing an additional bathing space for the public.

The second one is a personal connection:

According to this story, the hammam was originally built as a gift for Vizier Kasım Pasha’s daughter, Belkis. Belkis expressed her desire for a small and modest masjid, constructed from the remaining supplies of the mosque. In response to her request, Kasım Pasha presented her with the Çatma Mescit Hammam, fulfilling her wish uniquely and unexpectedly.

Hammam’s Interior

The building has separate cold, warm, and hot rooms. The temperatures of these rooms gradually change as you move on and your body accumulates to the heat, which is the typical structure of Turkish bathhouses. 

  • Soğukluk (Entrance and the cool room)
  • Ilıklık (The warm room)
  • Sıcaklık (The hot room)
  • Külhan (The furnace room)

In the warm room, heat was generated by underground furnaces filled with hot water. The steam produced was channeled underground and maintained by workers known as ‘Külhanbeyi’. Today, you can still see how this system operates at the Çatma Mescit Hammam.