Lucky us! A film crew opened up the historic Çukurcuma Hamam and we got to have a look around inside.
The yellow hamam, which used to be Istanbul's most well-known gay bathhouse, has been closed for years. We know nothing about its age or history. If you google Çukurcuma, almost all the hits refer to the hamam and the activities of its target demographic. Rumors circulate that it is for sale, has been sold or will be turned into a part of a boutique hotel. As far as we can tell, the only activity comes from the çaycı who keeps the neighborhood shopkeepers supplied with tea from the basement and the cats for whom it serves as both brothel and maternity ward. We wish they would restore and open it back up. We like hamams.
We've always been curious about the interior. It has a old wood ceiling (not unlike the one in our house. It's hard to see how a wood ceiling in a hamam is practical, though. It can be a bit damp).
Rusted iron chandeliers hang from the ceilings.
And a beautiful marble hamam, complete with the orginal marble sinks and brass faucets. Cool!