After the conquest of Adrianople by the Ottoman army led by Sultan Murat I in 1365, the city became the capital of the Ottoman Empire. It lost its exceptional status only after the Turks conquered Constantinople in 1453. The Saray Baths (tr. Saray Hamamı) is one of the few remaining structures of the Old Edirne Palace, erected in the 14th century.
The name of the bathhouse is directly linked to its glorious past, as it literally means Palace Baths. Just after the capture of Edirne, Sultan Murat I ordered the erection of a palace complex, now known as the Old Palace (Saray-i Atik). The construction of the complex was completed in 1368. It was located in the place where now stands the largest architectural treasure of Edirne - Selimiye Mosque.
Only two buildings of the Old Palace have been preserved to our times: Saray Baths and a building called Stone Rooms (tr. Taşodalar). It is said that the future sultan Mehmet II - the conqueror of Constantinople - was born in this part of the palace in 1432. At present, Taşodalar is an exclusive boutique hotel with rooms decorated in harmony with the spirit of the Ottoman period.
The Old Palace was abandoned when the New Imperial Palace was erected on Sarayiçi Island, much further from the centre of Edirne. When Sultan Selim ordered the construction of Selimiye Mosque, the old palace baths were converted into a public bath. Saray Baths served the inhabitants of Edirne for many centuries. After the Balkan Wars (1912-1913) it was closed down and slowly fell into disrepair. It underwent a thorough renovation in the years 2007 - 2009 and reopened for the customers. Saray Baths are one of the earliest examples of square double baths that have been preserved to modern times.
The official name of the baths is Edirne Merkez Saray Hamamı. There are separate entrances for women - from the eastern side, and for men - from the western side. The offered services include a Turkish bath, sauna, peeling, foam massage, honey massage, and oil massage. The price depends on the selection of services, massages and the duration of your stay so expect to pay between 20 and 50 TL. The bath is open daily, from 9:00 am to 8:30 pm.
Saray Baths are situated on the back of Selimiye Mosque, on Taş Odalar Street. Taşodalar Boutique Hotel is next door. Archaeological Museum and the exhibition of Ottoman gravestones are just a few steps away.