This chapter begins with the biography of the Çemberlitaş Hamamı’s patron, the queen-mother Nurbanu Sultan, and her motivations to construct the bathhouse. The second section turns towards the monument’s world-renowned architect, Mimar Sinan, presenting a brief biography as well as his involvement with the hamam’s construction. Much like humans have mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, so does the Çemberlitaş Hamamı have a distinguished lineage ranging from Greek baths to Roman thermae, Byzantine baths, early Arab-Islamic, Perso-Islamic, Seljuk and finally earlier Ottoman hamams. The final section traces this complex lineage with the help of a genealogical tree (silsilename) in order to elucidate the origins and development of various features in Ottoman bathhouse architecture.
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