Public to get first glimpse of the restored The Çinili Hamam during the 17th Istanbul Biennial, before major opening in 2023
The Çinili Hamam opens its doors to the public for the 17th Istanbul Biennial, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), offering a first look at the building following a major 12-year restoration project led by The Marmara Group. As one of the primary venues for the Biennial, the hammam hosts two large-scale contemporary art installations by artists Taloi Havini and Renato Leotta. Sound is a key component of both installations, which were selected especially to be exhibited in the hammam in response to the historic building’s unique acoustic properties.
Built by Mimar Sinan, considered the greatest architect of the Ottoman Empire in the 1540s, The Çinili Hamam is named after its original blue-turquoise tiles (çinili means ‘tiled’ in Turkish). The hammam is situated in the Zeyrek neighbourhood within the Fatih district, above the city’s Byzantine cisterns, which are used to supply water directly to the hammam. Zeyrek is one of the 4 conservation areas of Istanbul included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Since 2010, The Çinili Hamam has undergone a major restoration programme, including archaeological excavations to further understand the building’s history and conservation work to preserve this important example of Ottoman bath architecture. When it reopens in 2023, examples of these tiles and other historically significant finds from the Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman periods will be exhibited in a new museum adjacent to the baths, which will also include a special display exploring hammam culture and traditions.
Image Credit: The Çinili Hamam, Interior, Photo by Murat Germen, 2022.