Return to the Buyuk Hamam
Before I moved to North Cyprus I came as a holidaymaker and well recall going into a scorching Lefkosa and when wandering around the area, I came across the Buyuk Hamam which is a delightful relic of the old Ottoman presence in Cyprus. Not speaking any Turkish, I ventured through the open door and was welcomed but feeling unsure, after a cursory look around, I did not take up the offer I am sure of a conducted tour.
It was therefore a delight and a privilege to receive an invitation from the GAU International Tourism Educational Board Cultural Heritage Management to the opening ceremony of this beautiful building after its refurbishment carried out by the Girne American University’s Cultural Heritage Management Centre, the UN Development programme Action for Co-operation and Trust in Cyprus as well as the Great Baths’ own resources.
The building exterior has changed as can be seen from the pictures taken in 1997, 2005 and 2007 compared to those taken at the re-opening and as you walk inside there is a realization that you have stepped back in time in a refurbished building with a sense of opulence which the Hamam once had in its own time.
The experience of the opening on 12th December 2012 was heightened by a great number of people who had crowded together in such a small area and the flashing of lights from the press and the speeches gave the feeling that so many had come to pay tribute and give thanks to those people of yesteryear for the heritage they had given.
This sense of value in the preservation and remembrance of the past is seen so often now in North Cyprus and it is perhaps one of the reasons why so many people come here to live in a country that truly is, a jewel in the Mediterranean.
To read more of this event click on the GAU link below and also look at the Grand Bath website which is interesting but mainly in the Turkish language:
GAU Posting: Witness To History, Memories And Awakening Of The City.
Grand Turkish Bath: http://www.grandturkishhamam.com/
I would also like to thank local history researcher, Hans Doeleman for providing the excellent extract from his web site about the Buyuk Hamam and for any readers that would like more information on this or other local historical features, Hans can be contacted via Facebook at “Medieval Cyprus Fellowship MCF” and you can also view his work via the following links
Click: Buyuk Hamam Reopens
Via Facebook click: Medieval Cyprus Fellowship MCF – http://www.facebook.com/groups/mcf.trnc/