Cyprus, Nicosia

Ancient hammam in Northern Cyprus

Updated: 4 weeks ago
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In Northern Cyprus, in the old part of Nicosia, a well-preserved and recently restored ancient hammam has survived! It can be visited from June 1, 2024.

Старинный хаммам на Северном Кипре

Büyük Hammam in Nicosia

Buyuk Hammam, or the Grand Hammam, is the oldest Turkish bath in the city, located in the Iplik Bazaar quarter, built on the site of the 14th-century Church of St. George of the Latins. By the way, the only external element that remains today from the former church is the main entrance.

The Büyük Hammam is one of the most stunning examples of the Ottoman period in Nicosia. The building was rebuilt as a Turkish bath between 1571 and 1590 in the early years of Ottoman rule on the island.

Since the new building was constructed on the ruins of the previous one, and the land in the vicinity has risen over time, the entrance to the hammam is now significantly below ground level—so many people simply pass by, even though it used to be a popular social center, especially frequented by women to socialize and gossip.

Büyük Hammam today

The building was renovated in 2007 – 2008, preserving all the original functions of the bath, and today consists of three sections: "Soyunmalık" – dressing room, "Ilıklık" where visitors stretch or warm up, and "Sıcaklık" – the main hot section, which is a large dome with glazed openings through which sunlight shines onto the central massage podium. Some original remnants of the Christian church, such as large windowsills, are also preserved in the dressing room.

In 2019, the hammam was closed again for extensive restoration, which was completed in 2024. According to the Cyprus Heritage Fund Administration, Buyuk Hammam will open on June 1.

From this date, Büyük Hammam will be the only original Turkish bath still in operation in Northern Cyprus. It is also an important landmark for tourists who would like to experience centuries-old traditional peeling and massage methods with aromatic oils and foam.

Follow Northern Cyprus News and you will learn the details of the opening of the oldest hammam on the island!

Старинный хаммам на Северном Кипре
Interior of the hammam before the latest restoration

Frequently Asked Questions

What other attractions are there in Nicosia?

Speaking of the Turkish part of the city, there is quite a lot of Ottoman heritage preserved, such as the Selimiye Mosque, Büyük Han Caravanserai, Arabahmet Pasha Mosque, Dervish Pasha Ottoman Mansion, and Haidar Pasha Mosque. There are also Venetian architectural monuments, such as the city walls and Venetian gates, as well as the famous Venetian Column in the center.

What are the most interesting museums in Northern Cyprus?

The list is quite extensive, so we better just give you a link to our article about the best museums in Northern Cyprus.

Are there any Christian churches in Northern Cyprus?

Yes, first and foremost is the Monastery of St. Andrew on the Karpas Peninsula—a place of pilgrimage for many religious tourists from the southern part of the island and beyond. There are also other churches—read our collection of Christian churches in Northern Cyprus.

Буйюк Хамам в Никосии (Büyük Hamam)
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