The Baths of the Sultan and Queen Mother

This structure was built in the late 16th century as a double hammam (bathhouse), and underwent renovations in the mid-18th century. Both hammams are built to a similar plan, with cold, warm, and hot sections. The Hammam of the Queen Mother, however, is smaller than the Hammam of the Sovereign. This structure made up of two separate hammams connected by a gallery leading to the Hall of the Sovereign (Hünkâr Sofası). The heating system found beneath the marble floors of the Hammams also extended beneath the Hall of the Sovereign, providing heat to both structures. This type of heating system shows structural similarities to those found in Roman baths. These hammams also served to separate the sultan’s apartments from the part of the Harem where the women lived. According to the day, the Hammam of the Queen Mother would be used by different classes of women: wives, servants, or concubines.