(PRWEB) August 25, 2012
A majestic tribute to the art of bathing in the heart of Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet area, the Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam has hosted 15,000 visitors in its first year of operation. The hamam opened its doors last year after a three-year restoration (that cost approximately $10 million) and 455 years of history.
None of Istanbul’s many hamams are quite as magnificent as the Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam. Its historical location is incomparable and the bathing packages are the most luxurious in the city.
It has steadily gained a place as one of the top attractions in Istanbul on Trip Advisor. One guest wrote: “This is a must do in Istanbul. Totally gorgeous, cool inside and plenty to photograph.”
“The architecture is incredible. Incredible marble fountains. Brilliant tasseled chandeliers. It was huge, immaculate,” another guest remarked.
The hamam languished for years after a checkered history including life as a prison, a storage facility and a carpet bazaar. It has been restored to its former glory with painstaking attention to the historical details.
Located between two of Istanbul’s most celebrated sites, the Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque, the hamam exudes a quiet confidence in its esteemed company.
Sinan, the most renowned Ottoman architect, built the hamam in 1556 after Suleiman the Magnificent commissioned it for his beloved wife Hurrem Sultan.
Known in Western history as Roxelana, Hurrem Sultan, was born in the Crown of Poland, today’s Ukraine. She was captured as a slave by the Crimean Tatars at the age of 14 and later presented to the Ottoman court.
Hurrem soon caught the eye of Suleiman and her strong influence on him is well known. She became one of the only women to have officially married a sultan.
Hurrem was also the mother to five of Suleiman’s children including his successor, Selim II.
Historians believe many public buildings were commissioned in Hurrem’s name as part of her prolific charity work. However, none has more connection to her legend than the hamam which was believed to be built for her in her last years so people could pray for her return to health.
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