The oldest Turkish bath in Greece was built in the port city of Patras in 1400—during the Venetian rule—and remains in operation today.
The hammam, as it is known in Turkish, is located in the Upper Town neighborhood of Patras, and over the course of history has been preserved by the Ottomans and later by the Greeks.
During the era of Ottoman rule, the hammam was under the control of the local pasha. After Greece’s liberation, control of the bath changed hands several times, shifting from the Greek State, to a shipowner, to a local by the name of Dimitrios Mentzelos in 1934.
The hammam operates today using the same techniques as the era it was built, with the water tank heated by a wood-burning oven.
The bath’s current owners renovated the premises a few years ago but maintained the interior, which is dominated by Turkish elements in structure and decoration. In this way, the hammam still strongly resembles a traditional Turkish bath instead of a modern-day spa.
There are no hot springs in this hammam. Instead, an oven made of hardwood coming from olive trees is used.
The hammam also maintains another old tradition, as the baths are open only to men on certain days and to women on other days.