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Thermal Baths IN TURKEY


An attractive to discover.

Turkey is par excellence a thermal country due to its geologic conditions, since is located in a tectonic and volcanic area. In this country we can find more than 1.300 thermal springs with important beneficial properties for the health whose waters have a temperature ranging from 20ºC to 110ºC being rich in sulphur, sodium and calcium among other minerals.

The thermalism is a very ingrained concept in the Turkish culture and the famous Turkish Baths although they come from the Roman baths and the Roman Empire, they have its own history, architecture and bathing ritual.

The Turkish baths or hammams combine four elements: the dry heat, the humid heat, the cold and the massage. These elements stimulate and clean the body besides being beneficial for the health.


Pamukale ( detalle )Relating to thermal centers it is necessary to highlight Pamukkale which is without any doubts the better known not only due to its peculiar aspect conformed by terraces of limestone and water overflowing that remember to a cotton castle from where its name comes, but for the fantastic healing properties of its waters, especially for the skin.

At the present time, one cannot take a bath in the cascades of Pamukkale for reasons of conservatio but one can enjoy a pleasant bath in the pool of thermal water located just by the cascades, and whose waters have the same origin and therefore equally beneficial.

Another advisable option is to lodge in one of the hotels SPA located in the vicinities of Pamukkale, where we can enjoy its different treatments of health associated with baths in thermal waters.

Others thermalism centers to highlight are those pertaining to the town of Çesme located in the wonderful coast of the Aegean Sea, this it is a ideal place for the thalassotherapy and precisely the hotel complex Altin Yunus, five stars, offering a great variety of health and beauty treatments combined with the properties of the thermal waters and the marine algae.

Afyon is another place to keep in mind in the Turkish geography related to thermalism,  also in this city the appropriate hotel and thermal infrastructure is being created but beyond any doubt the Hotel Ikbal  five stars should be highlighted, this it is a hotel of great luxury with an impresive thermal area with  many services, and whose waters are highly favorable to treat problems of rheumatism and skin illnesses.

A center of traditional spas in Turkey is Yalova in the region of Mármara, here you will be able to relax and to enjoy in a classic spa to the purest style of the European spas of the last century.

For those suffering from psoriasis problems or other skin illnesses is highly advisable to go to Sivas in the region of Central Anatolia, since in this town you will be able to take a bath together with some fish that possess the virtue to cure or to diminish serious dermatológic afflicttion.


Baño turco ( detalle )Linterna de la cúpula de Baño CemberlitasTo visit Turkey is to dive in a bath of cultures: Ottoman, Byzantine and Roman. For such a reason many of those people that arrive in Istanbul, are curious about the history, architecture and culture of the bath and they express interest to take an authentic Turkish bath.

At the present there are 57 operating historic baths in Istanbul. However, the old Constantinople adapts at the current times building baths and saunas in the ground or lower levels of the new important buildings that proliferate all over the city. Establishments with architectural styles, facilities, heating systems and operation very different from that of the traditional Turkish bath. All five-star hotels in Turkey have their own “Turkish Bath”, however, although they appear similar to the Turkish bath,they do not provide the same kind of atmosphere and facilities as the original baths.It is the resurgence of the “hammam” used from a most playful and therapeutic perspectives. 

In Istanbul there is some advisable hammams: Çemberlitas and Galatasaray. In Bursa, a city of great importance as for thermal springs, is recommended to go to the hammams of Yeni Kaplica built in 1552 by Rustem Pasha and Eski Kaplia, commisioned by Justiciano in the V century.



This Turkish bath was commisioned in 1584 by Nurbanu Sultán, mother of the Sultan Murat III, to collect funds to finance the complex külliye (group of buildings composed of schools, a mosque, asylum for the mentaly ill, hospital, soup kitchen) of Atik Valide Sultan.

It is located in Cimberlitas Square overlooking the “Burnt Column”. The exquisite building was created by Mimar Sinam, the architect who give the most oustanding examples of Ottoman architecture. This bath is near other important historical buildings: the Tomb of Mahmut II, the Koprulu Library and the Mosque of Atik Ali Pasa.

The Bath of Cemberlitas was originally built as a double bath, with separate services for men and women and even though for some periods it stopped being used this way, at the present it again works in the initial way. Part of the women section was demolished in the second half of the XIX century. This section was then replaced by shops that still in use to the present. This biggest change resulted in the use of the same entrance by men and women. A feature not characteristic Ottoman bath architecture.

Originally, the sections of men and women had roofs of graceful cupolas (roof lanterns) but nowadays only the women´s section has this beautiful features.
Over the dressing rooms of men and women sections  there are large vaults that are eighteen meters high. On leaving the changing rooms, we pass through the warm rooms also with domes. The hot bathing section, square in plan that deviates from the traditional Ottoman architecture with 12 corners formed by twelve columns. The four central sections have each one four private cubicles. These private cubicles are separated by marble dividers inscribed with verses. The marble floor is decorated with stone of colours and the bath shows a central heating stone that is larger than any other in Istanbul.

The Bath of Cemberlitas is one of cleanest and better conserved of the few recommended baths in Istanbul. Its location and the efficiency and attitude of its management makes it very popular among the tourists. One of the reasons for its popularity is that almost all its personnel speaks English and the Bath accepts credit cards. The bath also gives discounts to tourists presenting Cards of International Student, to the Turkish students and to fixed costumers. Includes with the entrance is    insurance for the unlikely cases of accident during the time that the client uses the services.

Finally, Who should not be seduced by the culture of the “hammam “?


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Women and men.

Meritxell Xipell Ríos
Diplomada en Turismo

Title: Turkish Baths
Publishing House: Çitlembik Publications
Author: Orhan Yilmazkaya

Brezo Tours


Journalist specialized in Medicine and Thermalism, President of Spanish
Association Friends of Thermal Baths. Scientific divulger.


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