The Story of the Historical Çatma Mescit Hammam in Nova Plaza Pera Hotel
Although there are not many sources and archival materials published on the Çatma Mescit Hamam, the story is said to be as follows;
“In 1533, the greatest architect in the Ottoman history, Mimar Sinan, had built the Grand Hammam and the Kasımpasha Mosque Camii-i Kebir in the honor of the Vizier Kasim Pasha.
The significant Statesmen and Pashas of the period, who went to the Grand Hammam quite often, did not want to share the hammam with the public/working class.
Upon this, with the remaining construction materials of the Grand Hamam, Mimar Sinan designed the Çatma Mescit Hammam for the utilization of the public and for the laborers who were making their living on the docks and naval facilities along the Golden Horn.
The income that was generated from the Çatma Mescit Hamam was used to cover the expenses of the Kasımpaşa mosque Camii-i Kebir and the muezzin.
According to another version of the story, Kasım Pasha had presented the Çatma Mescit Hammam as a gift to one of his daughters Princess Belkis, who had told her father that she wished to have small and modest masjid built for her from the remaining construction supplies of the Camii-i Kebir.
Upon her wish her father had it built and the name remained as ‘Çatma Mescit’.
Çatma Mescit Hammam has recently been beautifully and stylishly restored back to its former glory as it still reflects the magnificence of its era.
Some Turkish words before you go to the hammam;
Kese: A small pouch type of cloth to wash
Pestemal: A traditional cotton body wrap
Sicaklik: Hot area
Kurna: Bathing basins
Göbek taşı: Heated marble platform
Köpük: Foam massage
Halve: Private bathing cubicles
Tellak: An attendant
Sogukluk: Cold section
Şerbet: An Ottoman-style cold, sweetened fruit juice