The tradition of the Turkish bath extends far back to a time before a Turk had reached Anatolia. When the Turks arrived they brought with them one bathing tradition and were confronted with that of the Romans and Byzantines. The traditions merged and the Turkish Bath or Hamam was born which under the Ottomans became an indispensable part of daily social life.
One of the finest examples is the Cemberlitas Hamam in the heart of Istanbul. The mother of Sultan Murat III built this grey marble building in 1584. Designed by the legendary Turkish architect Mimar Sinan the bath is one of the most important works of 16th century Ottoman architecture.