The Municipality of Chania has turned one of the city’s old Turkish baths (hammams) on Kasteli hill into an art gallery to host exhibitions and cultural events.
Located on Katre street in the old part of the city, the old hammam is surrounded by vaulted arcades and smaller domes. Its central area is covered by a lowered dome. Its second floor no longer exists and a section of its surrounding buildings has been destroyed.
Speaking to Athens News Agency (ANA), Chania Deputy Mayor for Culture Yiannis Yiannakakis said the old hammam will be used for cultural purposes and the promotion of art creations.
Its facilities will host exhibitions of paintings, photographs, ceramics and sculptures.
“We offer the opportunity to artists to get in touch with us in order to promote their activities, while we provide the infrastructure that every artistic activity needs,” he added.
The old hammam of Kasteli was one of the public baths built by the Ottomans during the occupation of Chania. It continued the long tradition of the Roman and Byzantine baths, featuring underground hypocausts* and clay pipes for hot water and steam.
The distict of Kasteli is located on a hill above the old harbor of Chania on Crete. It is the first settlement of the city, as indicated by the Byzantine walls visible in the area. The Turkish hammam on Katre street is one of the many monuments that still stand today.
*A hypocaust is a system of central heating in a building that produces and circulates hot air below the floor of a room, and may also warm the walls with a series of pipes through which the hot air passes.