Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Turkish Bath, IKAT Fabric and More

Last Fall my husband and I spent a long weekend in Istanbul.  We had an amazing time the whole weekend but a highlight for both of us was visiting a Turkish Bath, or Hamam.  The design was so stunning that I wanted to pass it along.  It is an experience I would definitely recommend! 

Photography by Barbara Jordan Dettweiler
This is how Suleymaniye Hamam looks from the entrance - not so exciting, but notice when it was built.  The 1550s.  Wow.  

 The surprise comes when you go inside the room, made entirely out of marble.  You are surrounded by incredibly hot steam and lie down on the marble slab in the middle of the room.  Sunlight streams in through the ceiling and looks like starlight.  That is heavenly enough, but then comes the massage and wash down, with intermittent splashes of cold water.  VERY refreshing!

I also shopped for textiles and specifically was on the lookout for suzani and ikat fabrics.  I found these three beautiful silk ikat fabrics in a smaller market near our hotel.  They will either become pillows or a table runner - well, probably a little bit of both!  This picture doesn't do them justice but it will give you the idea.  I love all of these rich tribal colors.

{hotel empress zoe, istanbul}
Our hotel was a funky little boutique hotel, made up of five former townhouses that are now combined, with gorgeous colorful Turkish fabrics throughout.  I'm not a big chain-hotel kinda girl, and luckily neither is my husband.  We both loved the winding little passageways through the hotel, its cozy courtyard and its overall unique charm.  Notice the cat - they could usually be found snoozing on some beautiful suzani fabric throughout all of the public spaces!  We also enjoyed its gorgeous rooftop terrace - that we had all to ourselves - where we drank in a view of the main mosques and some local Efes beer.  Ahhh...

Photography by Barbara Jordan Dettweiler
This lantern caught my eye in a little market behind the Blue Mosque.

Photography by Barbara Jordan Dettweiler
And a bit of architecture just for fun...

Photography by Barbara Jordan Dettweiler
I LOVE photographing doors everywhere I travel. 
If you're interested, take a look at my post about beautiful doors from our travels here

Photography by Barbara Jordan Dettweiler
 This was tile in the otherwise bland waiting area for the funicular that took us
up a hill to a hip shopping/eating area in the city...gorgeous!

Photography by Barbara Jordan Dettweiler
Turkey's signature pistachios: in pastry form.  YUM.

Have you been to Turkey or are you familiar with it?  If so, what are some of your favorite Turkish designs, architecture or experiences?


Anonymous said...

Do you remember the name of the shop where you got the Ikat fabric? I'm going this week to Istanbul to look for Ikat and Suzanne fabrics nd would appreciate any tips. Suzanne

Shawn dell said...

Ikat and Suzani fabrics are very versatile thing for decoration, ,It give very good look on floor as well it also give same look on wall. Thank you for sharing. I really like your blog.
oriental rugs for sale


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