One of the most impressive public baths in Syria is Hammam Yalbugha (حمام يلبغا), located in the old city of Aleppo (حلب) just south of the Aleppo Citadel (قلعة حلب). The baths were originally constructed in the mid-14th century, but were destroyed in 1399 when Timur sacked the city. The baths were later restored by Seif al-Din Yalbugha al-Nasiri (سيف الدين يلبغا الناصري), the Mamluk governor of Aleppo (حلب). They were again renovated during the Ottoman period.
Hammam Yalbugha (حمام يلبغا) functioned as a public bath and a gathering place for locals and merchants from outside of the city until the end of the nineteenth century. At the beginning of the twentieth century the hammam was turned into a small felt factory. It was registered as a historic monument in 1945, and purchased by the office of the Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums in the 1960s. Some minor restorations took place at that time, but it wasn’t until 1983–1985 that extensive renovations were undertaken. Hammam Yalbugha (حمام يلبغا) reopened as functioning public bath in the late 1980s.
The Mamluk structure is based on a typical floor plan with three sections: the frigidarium, tepidarium and caldarium. Each of these three parts has a large central domed area surrounded by four iwans. The monumental street façade is symmetrically built, with an entrance portal in the middle. The walls display ablaq decoration with alternating courses of yellow and black stone. The domed and vaulted spaces are lit by saucer-shaped glass plugs. Interior and exterior finishes have been renovated using traditional methods and materials, and the original underground heat distribution canals were repaired and now serve to conceal the new heating ducts. A café, kitchen, laundry and other service rooms were added the existing facilities.
Coordinates: 36°11’52.00″N / 37°09’50.00″E
Transliteration Variants: Hammam Yalbogha
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