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Twin Ottoman Bath of Trikala

The restoration of the ottoman bath in the old prison can be considered as its most recent historical building phase.

The protection of the monument started following its discovery, in 2011. The restoration plan, drafted by the former 19th Byzantine Antiquities - today Ephorate of Antiquities of Trikala- was approved in 2012. In 2014 the project "Protection – Enhancement of Ottoman Baths in the under construction 'Vassilis Tsitsanis' Cultural Research Centre" was included in the O.P. «Thessaly, Central Greece and Epirus 2007 – 2013». The restoration of the bath in the ground floor was carried out by the Ephorate and the works on the first floor by the municipality of Trikala. The works of restoration were completed in 2015.

 

Τhe twin Ottoman bath is seen by entering the city from Karditsa and Athens from  the south, close to the banks of Lithaeos river. Τhe Osmân Şȃh Ottoman mosque (16th c.)  is at a short distance away as well as the 19th c. church of St. Konstantinos.

Although the location of the ottoman bath was depicted in an old topographical diagram of the city, the degree of conservation and the original characteristics of the bath were not previously known, as in the 1890s and thereafter the building underwent several interventions to house the main prison building.

However, trial research launched in 2011 by the former 19th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities (now Ephorate of Antiquities of Trikala), revealed that the ground floor of the prison was a twin Ottoman bath.

The destruction of the bath's typical domed roofs, in order to save space for the construction of cells, is important reason for which the original use of the building as a bath is not easily recognized today. The first floor, as it is today, was made of reinforced concrete in the 1950s.

 

The uniqueness of the building in the city, the need for its preservation as a monument and its integration into the modern urban fabric, were the main reasons that led to the decision for its restoration, as closely as possible to its original form as a bath.

At the same time, maintaining certain construction and functional elements from the period of its modern use as a prison was deemed necessary, because for over a century it was inextricably linked with the history of the city.

 

The project, in short, firstly aimed at strengthening and restoring the bearing structure of the building and also to the conservation and enhancement of the architectural remains.

 

The restoration works applied were the following:

  • Reversion of certain interventions, such as re-opening blocked windows or blocking modern-era openings.
  • Reinforcement the building and renovating the floors
  • Conservation of preserved elements of the bath, such as ornamental niches and narrow doorways
  • Restoration and enhancement of  remains brought to light during restoration works

 

Finally, original features of its function as a prison site were preserved and highlighted, such as machinery of the sawmill, documents and objects related to its more recent history.

 

Year:

01/10/2014 - 30/10/2016

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