Daut Pasha hamam, Skopje – National Gallery of Art
Daut Pasha Hamam a former hammam (public bath) is located at the entrance of the Old Bazaar in Skopje. This monumental statue of the Islamic profane architecture was built in 1484 by a famous Turkish general Daut Pasha, one of vezirite Fatih Sultan Mehmed II (1451-1481) and the great vizier during the reign of Sultan Bayezid II (1481-1512).
The base of the building is a rectangle with the expansion of the northern and southern sides. Today baths has three entrances: east, west and south. From the outside, except for the arc and architrave rectangular boxes for the windows and the doors, the flat wall surfaces are dominated by alternately stacking stone and two rows of bricks joined by mortar which was typical for the architecture of that period.
Inside, Daut Pasha Hammam has 15 different sized rooms (baths) that are interconnected with vaulted passages, decorated with typical oriental ornaments. All rooms are vaulted with domes, most of them with stellar opening through which light penetrates diffuse into the interior of the building.
Most striking part of this building is the roof, composed of 13 unequally spaced domes. The internal layout of the premises also attracts attention with its architecture. All rooms are interconnected with vaulted passages, decorated with typical oriental ornaments.East-west baths was split into two completely separate wings each with a waiting room and a room for undressing actually two large rooms in the center of which were built beautiful fountain. The rest rooms were bathing and washing. Hammam was so adjusted that could simultaneously bathing for men and women. The west entrance was for men, and the north for women .
In the fire of 1689. it was damaged and left gradually decay. Restored after World War II when it is reused in it, now the National Art Gallery. In the earthquake of 1963. baths was partially damaged and after the renewal continued with the same function.
As far as we know the baths was never used as such. There are two legends bound for hamam. According to one, heating the baths required huge amounts of wood, but given the fact that the forest on the Mountain Vodno was gone the Daut Pasha Hamma was never putin use at all due to lack of firewood. Another legend says that the daughter of the vizier Daut Pasha, before commissioning, visited the baths:from the walls came out a great poisonous snake - and bit her. She died and Daut Pasha ordered to close the Hamam and it was never used after.