An Evaluation of Sinan Bey (Kale) Hammam in the Bitlis Castle and Its Relievo Studies
Fırat Üniversitesi, İnsani ve Sosyal Bilimler Fakültesi, Arkeoloji Bölümü, Elazığ/ Türkiye
Keywords: Bitlis, castle, hammam, Sinan Bey, excavation
Bitlis Sinan Bey (Kale) Hammam (Turkish bath) which was discovered through archaeological excavations of the 2004-2005 year is located in the Bitlis Castle near the city centre. Some simple interventions have been made to protect the bath since the day it was discovered; however, the destruction could not be completely prevented. In particular, the danger of collapse on the cover elements and the walls of water tanks is increasing day by day. Therefore, within the scope of the excavations in 2019, it was decided to make the survey drawings before the restitution and restoration. For this reason, the building was first examined in situ. Afterwards, the location of the building on the map was marked by taking reference points with Cors and Total Station instruments. Since the ground levels of the spaces are different, the level of 0.00 was determined with the help of the line laser tool and the plan measurements were taken on the same level.
After the necessary measurements were taken on the sketches, they were transferred to the computer environment. With Total Station, all points were measured for plan, section and view. The entire structure was photographed, and programs such as Agisoft Photoscane, Adobe Photoshop and Autocad were used for the details of the material and damage details on the sections and facades. The drawings of the survey project were prepared by using these programs with the measurements and data obtained. The prepared survey study was later approved by the relevant committee.
According to achieve documents, the hammam, made up of the sections including an undressing room, lukewarm room, hot room and furnace, is a foundation work, built by Bitlis Banner Lord Sinan Bey between 1534 and 1540. In the new documents reached in the Ottoman archives, the Land Registry Book of 1540 and other archive records, the bath was built to obtain income for the masjid built by Sinan Bey in the castle. The annual income of Sinan Bey Masjid was recorded as 4900 coins. It is written that of these 4900 coins, 3600 coins were obtained from the bath in the castle, and 580 coins were obtained from the two cellars near the bath and the school.
Two corners of the hammam are with private rooms in accordance with the hot room, and they reflect characteristics of the classical Turkish Hammam architecture. There are no ornamental elements in the structure where stone is used on the walls, dome and brick materials are used in the transitions to the dome. Hot room, lavatory and private rooms are covered with the dome, and the other spaces are covered with vault. Merely main outer walls and door opening of the undressing room has reached today, and the inner side is enlightened with the elephant’s eyes on the dome and vaults, which constitute the covering units of the actual hammam part. It is aimed to provide information about relievo studies indicating the year of construction and constructor of the hammam in the light of documents.