The Ottoman Baths of Mithymna


The Turkish bath (hammam) at Mithymna Lesvos is one of the most important buildings still standing from the island’s Ottoman period. It is located at the center of the present-day settlement, close to the Carsi Cami or Great Mosque on an alleyway off Kastro Street, built on a natural slope, utilizing the altitude difference of the rocky terrain. This is a public Turkish bath, for both sexes at non-overlapping hours. This was a place of cleansing, relaxation and social contact. The lack of any inscriptions and other informational content make the accurate dating of this monument really hard. By studying, however, the morphological and structural characteristics it is surmised that this bath was built in the 19th century, comprising a part of a single building unit with other Ottoman buildings in this vicinity. The layout of the spaces follow the typical axis-like organization of other Turkish baths, in which the bather moves through consecutive spaces, from a cool to a warm and finally to a hot chamber. The baths ceased operation in the 1960s, when interventions took place in this building, altering the original character of its interior and manner of operation. The monument now is owned by the Municipality and is a historic landmark sanctioned by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. Recently support and restoration projects have taken place in order to promote its original use and make it into a hammam again and convert it into a museum.

Region Mithymna

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