Historical Turkish bath becomes venue
ŞANLIURFA – Anadolu Agency
AA PhotosA historical Turkish bath, which was functional for more than three centuries in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, is now serving modern-day tourists. Following restoration work, the Vezir Bath has been decorated with oriental furniture and now hosts traditional events.
Located in central Eyyübiye district Yusuf Paşa neighborhood, the Vezir Bath was built in 1730 by Mutasarrıf Arapkirli Yusuf Paşa and served as a bath until a few years ago.
Though the bath had become worn out with time and lost people’s interest, it was restored to its original state with the financial support of the Karacadağ Development Agency.
Restoration ended a year ago at the 1,200 square-meter bath, which now has a very different appearance, with oriental furniture in its all rooms and sections.
Fountains, bath basins and water outlets are all together with the furniture in the historical bath, which is brightly lit thanks to sun light filtering from its domes. It is now hosting Henna Nights, during which the hands and feet of the bride and guests are tattooed, and the Sıra Nights, which features a gathering of people eating and singing songs with traditional musical instruments.
The operator of the bath, Seydi Vakkas Çiçek, said the historical bath had become idle because of the indifference of people but had gained a new function with the restoration.
Çiçek said the restoration did not damage the bath’s foundation, adding, “None of the stones in the bath received damage during the restoration and decoration. Fountains, water outlets and bath basins in the rooms and other sections were not touched.”
Çiçek said the bath was used as a venue for various traditional events as well as a restaurant and café, drawing both foreign and local guests alike.
He said first-time customers were amazed by the atmosphere of the bath, adding, “Foreign and local guests are very surprised when they see the fountains and basins situated with oriental furniture. They are very curious about the bath and come to see the venue since this is a natural and historical place.”
Karacadağ Development Agency Secretary General Hasan Maral said their goal was to restore historical artifacts in Şanlıurfa and open them to tourism. He said financial support was especially provided for projects aiming to boost tourism.
“The restoration project of the Vezir Bath is one of these projects. We made contribution to the city’s tourism with this project,” he added.