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Pure hedonism.

Azra Magazine

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Today’s Isa Beg’s Hamam (Old Turkish Bath) has been built in 1890 and is in the place of an old Waqf building that carries the same name and had the same purpose. The Old Bath is mentioned first time in a waqf document belong to Isa Beg Ishakovich and dates to 1462 but the details of the structural and architectural dynamics of the building is almost non-existent.

The structures of Isa Beg Ishakovich was built in 1462 in the era of Sultan Mehmed The Conqueror (1429-1481) and are in great importance due to symbolization of transition between the rule of Bosnian Kingdom and Ottoman Empire.

Throughout the history, many to be in the time of Ottoman Empire, many Hamam was built in Sarajevo. Unfortunately, only two of them still keeps their physical presence. Isa Beg’s Hamam is one of those two Hamams. Even only for that particularity the Isa Begov Hamam is a cultural heritage to be protected and to keep alive. Isa Beg Ishakovich was a successfull Ottoman General and and the Beg (Governor) of Bosna Sandzak. Also he is accepted as the founder of Sarajevo. By the many magnificent and discrete building he founded to be built he helped Sarajevo to gain its urban appereance.

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Sarajevo has been a residential area since Neolitic Period but first urbanization started by the Waqf of Isa Beg and has been documented as the name ‘Sarayovası’ means the Plain of Seraglio in Ottoman language. Isa Beg’s Hamam is next to the Careva Mosque. This mosque was founded by Isa Beg  and has been gifted to the Sultan Mehmed The Conqueror when he visited Sarajevo. Since that day the mosque is named as ‘Careva’ (Sultan’s) Mosque. The Mosque and The Hamam are evaluated as a complex as they were built at the same time.

Isa Beg’s Hamam is Sarajevo’s first and oldest public bath. Hamam divided in to two main parts as for males and females. After the immigration of Sephardi Jews to the Sarajevo to fulfill the religious necessities of Jews, a pool has been added to the Hamam. Because of that reason the pool in the Hamam does not have a Islamic character. Throughout the history, Isa Beg’s Hamam received a lot of damage by floods and fires. In the year of 1891 Austro-Hungarian architect Josip Vanchas renovated the Hamam which was in it’s ruins. Considering the chronoligical and stilistical features, he did enlargen the outline of the building. He add a second floor on the centar part of the building and add right and left wings that contains steam baths and bathtubs. The main part of Hamam contains an octagonal room with a pool, a changing room and two steam rooms. First steam room is heated up to 35-40 C degrees and the second steam room is heated up to 45-55 C degrees. Both rooms contains fountains and showers with hot and cold water. The room with the pool has the width of 6,40 meters and height of  8 meters. On the center of this room there is a pool with the radius of 3,6 meters and the depth of 1,20 meters. Hamam has been used as a public bath for years in this shape.

Unfortunately, The Hamam was damaged seriously at the War in between 1992-1995 years and was impossible to use without a further renovation. In the date of 09/12/2011 a protocol was signed between T.R. Prime Ministry Directorate General Of Foundations and bosna vakıflar genel müdürlüğü and as a result of this protocol T.R. Prime Ministry Directorate General Of Foundations undertook the  whole foundation of the renovation of old Hamam. With the project that was drawed by architect Mr. Ferhad Mulabegovic a presentation was made and as a result Old Hamam is decided to be the new Isa Begov Hamam Boutique Hotel.
As Isa Begov Hamam Boutique Hotel, it is our main duty to protect and preserve this important cultural heritage left by the founder of Sarajevo, Isa Beg Ishakovich.