The Cemberlitas Hamami in Istanbul: The Biographical Memoir of a Turkish Bath by Nina Macaraig
Bathhouses (hamams) play a prominent role in Turkish culture, because of their architectural value and social function as places of hygiene, relaxation and interaction. Continuously shaped by social and historical change, the life story of Mimar Sinan's emberlitas Hamami in Istanbul provides an important example: established in 1583/4, it was modernized during the Turkish Republic (since 1923) and is now a tourist attraction. As a social space shared by tourists and Turks, it is a critical site through which to investigate how global tourism affects local traditions and how places provide a nucleus of cultural belonging in a globalized world. This original study, taking a biographical approach to tell the story of a Turkish bathhouse, contributes to the fields of Islamic, Ottoman and modern Turkish cultural, architectural, social and economic history.