THE KIAMIL BEY PALACE HAMAM, ANCIENT CORINTH
Remains of one of the baths situated in the area of the former Kiamil Bey’s palace (Google earth).
At the northern part of Ancient Corinth lies a natural plateau, where the Kiamil Bey’s Ottoman saray constructed during the 19th c. once stood. At the eastern side of this promontory still stand the remains of an Ottoman (Turkish) bath, the hammam which belonged to the Kiamil Bey’s palace.
The surviving structure is composed of three adjoining spaces, the main disrobing hall, the warm room and the fireplace area with the water cauldron. The masonry walls reach the total length of 11,50 m. The remnants of the bath, as traced during its architectural survey, reveal different constructional phases, as it is most possible that the building was enclosed in the saray’s general layout plan (in contrast to the two other Ottoman hammams of the village situated independently in plots of land). Its interior floor level is elevated from the surrounding area ground surface elevation. The two basic rooms of the bath are placed consequently one after the other, but with a noticeable recess in their general groundfloor plan. As baths were heated by using a hypocaust system, -a technological feature evidenced in all the Ottoman baths, this one didn’t differ: the warm room also still shows traces of (four) vertical ceramic tubes inserted into the masonry of the western wall, through which smoke and hot air used to circulate from the hypocaust to the upper walls, heating the bath halls. The two semicircular niches along the western and eastern wall decorate the interior of the warm room.
Th. du Monsel’s paintings, “View of Corinth”, “Excursion par terre d’Athenes a Nauplie”, Paris circa 1845: The third small room of the hammam was the fireplace and the cauldron area, a rectangular shape narrow room covered by a half standing barrel vault. The water reservoir was situated into this space, while the circular hole at its bottom evidences the location of the cauldron. The northern rear façade of the bath offers the possibility to trace the existence of the hypocaust system, as part of the masonry and the reservoir’s bottom have collapsed. The buildings’s roof has long collapsed, apart from the remaining part at the last room.
The hamam was architecturally surveyed by architect J. Travlos in 1960. (Travlos, J., 1960, Corinth Drawing: 223 001: State Drawing of the Baths of Aphrodite).
Κanetaki I. Eleni, Τα Δημόσια λουτρά επί Τουρκοκρατίας στην Ελλάδα, διδακτορική διατριβή, ΕΜΠ, Τμήμα Αρχιτεκτόνων Μηχανικών, Αthens, 2003.
Κanetaki I. Εleni, Οθωμανικά Λουτρά στον Ελλαδικό χώρο, ΤΕΕ, Αthens 2004.
Rhys Carpenter and Antoine Bon with contributions by A. W. Parsons, Corinth. Results of excavations conducted by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Volume III, part II, The Defenses of Acrocorinth and the lower town, published for the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1934, Harvard University Press Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Eleni I. Kanetaki
Τhe Tower and the bathhouse included in the Kiamil Bey’s saray, as surveyed in Theodose du Moncel’s engravings (c. 1845).
The location of the hammam in the topographic map conducted by Jean-Pierre-Eugène-Félicien Peytier (1829), in The French Expedition to the Morea (Work of the French Scientific Expedition to the Morea 1829-1), Melissa Publishing House, Athens 2012.
Τhe Tower and the bathhouse included in the Kiamil Bey’s saray, as surveyed in Theodose du Moncel’s engravings.
Remains of the interior walls inside the saray bath, where vertical ceramic tubes are evidenced.The northern part of the bath with the place of the cauldron.Travlos, J., 1960, Corinth Drawing: 223 001: State Drawing of the Baths of Aphrodite, Hill House drawer 26