Zeyrek Çinili Hamam, a hidden 500-year-old treasure in Istanbul, will open in September 2023 following an ambitious 12-year restoration project. The baths will be accompanied by a new museum, contemporary art space and private gardens, creating a new destination to soak up the city’s culture. Upon opening, the baths will be filled with a contemporary art exhibition featuring new works responding to their unique architecture. They will then be heated and returned to public use, alongside a range of treatments, from early 2024.
Fragments uncovered during the restoration have revealed that more than ten thousand tiles with thirty-seven unique designs once decorated the hammam’s inner walls. When it reopens in 2023, examples of these tiles and other historically significant finds from the Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman periods will be exhibited in a new museum adjacent to the baths, which will also include a special display exploring hammam culture and traditions.
The complex will also feature a new contemporary art space in the Hamam’s rediscovered Byzantine cisterns. Located underground it will host a rotating programme of installations and exhibitions. A new heating system will return the baths to public use, allowing local people and visitors to enjoy them for decades to come.
Zeyrek Çinili Hamam has re-opened its doors for the first time since its 12-year-long renovation, exclusively for 17th Istanbul Biennial.
Opening in September 2023