The Baths: The Structure and Literature

Spatial organization and heating system of the bath buildings had developed in today's sense in the Roman period. In the following early Islamic Era, the plan and the organization scheme of the Roman baths were reproduced. Although the spatial construct was continued in the organization of the Turkish baths, they could still be considered as unique due to the adaptation of certain traditions deriving from the Turkish-Islamic culture. In both the Seljuk and the following Sultanates eras bath buildings were built in nearly all cities. The Ottoman Empire, however, constituted both the architectural and the technical peak of bath construction. Many such examples were built in the major cities of the empire including Bursa, Edirne and Istanbul. The bath buildings, which served the purpose of deriving income through foundations (waqf), continued their existence until the nineteenth century due to the increase of bath space maintained in housing. Today serving mostly touristic purposes, some of the baths have lost their unique functions and some have ceased to exist due to different reasons.


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