The Baths of Isabey

There were four baths in the city of Ayasuluk, today called Seljuk, dating from the rule over the city by the Aydınoğulları Emirs and the Early Ottomans (1350-1450). The fact that baths were frequently constructed and were elaborate, exhibiting the characteristics of their periods indicate these bath were erected during the golden age of the city of Ayasuluk, when it was the capital of an important and wealthy Emirate-state, in part because Ayasuluk was a majör trade centre, visited by many merchants from the Latin West in the 14th and 15th centuries and was alsothe focus of a rich agriculturel hinterland. For sound seismic, as well as for decorative reasons in the constructions of these baths, courses of stone and courses of bricks were used in the walls and only bricks for the domes and vaults. The decorations in the baths extended to the domes and on the pedentives of the domes. Despite the similarities between these four baths, all of them had different plans. The relative position of the dressing-robing areas in these four baths is today unclear. In the period before the excavation of the Baths of Isa Bey, the warm section, the higher walls of the furnace, with the domes and vaults covering these rooms, had been demolished. During the excavations the floor of the magnificent dressing area was unearthed; however the walls and the superstructure were not found. From current information it is thought to have had a wooden roof and a cross-like and four cornered celled plan was employed in the construction of this bath house. With later additions, it was converted into a double bath. The stucco (a mixture of plaster and marble powder) decorations on the inside of the domes and roofs are exceedingly fine.