Zeyrek Çinili Hamam, a historic bath in Istanbul, reopens following an extraordinary 13-year restoration project
Zeyrek Çinili Hamam, a historic bathhouse in Istanbul, reopened this September following an extraordinary 13-year restoration project. Commissioned by Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha, the Grand Admiral of the Ottoman Navy, the hammam was built in the 1530s by the famed Mimar Sinan at the height of the Ottoman Empire’s cultural brilliance.
Located in the Zeyrek district, part of the UNESCO World Heritage List, the hammam includes a new museum exploring the bath’s history and the traditions of the Ottoman bathing ritual. The site, stretching across 3,000m², also features a space to host site-specific art installations in the newly discovered Byzantine cisterns, and private gardens.
A one-off contemporary art exhibition, Healing Ruins, takes place throughout the historic building until 5 November 2023. Curated by Anlam de Coster and showcasing the works of 22 artists from Turkey and abroad, Healing Ruins explores the possibilities for transformation at both an individual and societal level, featuring new commissions that draw inspiration from the layers of the past uncovered by the hammam’s restoration. Following the exhibition, the baths will be reheated and returned to public use from March 2024.