The Baths of the Sultan and Queen Mother

 The Baths of the Sultan and the Queen Mother (Hünkâr ve Vâlide Hamamları) are believed to have been built by Court Architect Mimar Sinan in the 1580’s and underwent several repairs. The main section of this double bath consisting of multiple rooms was reserved to the Sultan while the other parts were for the use of the Harem ladies.  It was redecorated in the rococo style in the middle of the 18th century. Heated from the bottom up like the Roman baths through a hypocaust system, both baths present the same design, consisting of a caldarium, a tepidarium and a frigidarium. Each room either has a dome, or the ceilings are at some point glassed in a honeycomb structure to let the natural sunlight in. The floor is clad in white and grey marble. The marble tub with an ornamental fountain in the caldarium and the gilded iron grill are characteristic features. The golden latticework was to protect the bathing Sultan or his mother from assassination conspiracies.