Grand Bath (Büyük Hammam) in Nicosia, North Cyprus.
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Grand Bath (Büyük Hammam)

Grand Bath
photo by: Anonymous
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In the 14th century, the church of St George the Latins stood to welcome worshippers on one of the main streets in Nicosia. Today, the church’s front door actually lies several feet below street level, so you can really appreciate the ornate carvings of the original doorway. Like so many buildings in Nicosia, the Ottomans changed this church into something more useful for them, a bath house, the Grand Bath or Büyük Hammam.

Have a Traditional Hammam Experience in Nicosia, North Cyprus

Only the portal remains of the original church, and once through the door you are in a real, working bath house. For a taste of real Turkish life on your North Cyprus holiday, why not join the locals at the Grand Bath to relax and steam in this traditional hammam. (If you’d rather stay clothed, you can still look around for a modest fee.) As you enter, look up at the ceiling, where a large nail marks the height of the disastrous floods of 1330, when 3000 people lost their lives.

After changing, you join your fellow bathers in the hot room for about an hour, during which your body temperature rises and you begin to sweat. (Women and men bathe at separate times, so ask for the correct times for you.) At this point, you can either wash yourself using the camel hair glove provided, or ask for a masseur (or masseuse for the ladies). They will give you a vigorous rub-down that is both massage and exfoliation combined, leaving your skin clean and glowing! A full bathing and massage experience at Büyük Hammam costs less than £15, a bargain compared to the costs of spa treatments in some North Cyprus hotels!