Bey Hamam, alternatively known as the 'Baths of Paradise', is a Turkish bathhouse in Thessaloniki.
Built in 1444 by sultan Murad II, it was the first Ottoman bath in Thessaloniki and the most important one still standing throughout Greece. For this reason, it is a part of those few important vestiges of Ottoman culture remaining in Thessaloniki and Greece in general.
It is a double bath, with two separate parts for men and women. The male quarters are the most spacious and luxurious, but each one follows the same tripartite plan - a succession of three parts, the cold, tepid, and hot rooms. A large rectangular cistern flanks the baths to the east and guarantees their water supply.
The baths for the men include a large octagonal cold room, with a gallery resting on columns, arcades surrounding their windows, and a painted cupola. It is followed, in south-east, by the tepid room, also octagonal, equipped with a cupola with occuli and with a rich series of painted depictions of plants. Further to the east lies the complex of hot rooms, ordered around a large cruciform room, wherein the massage table might always be found, standing, now as ever, in its centre. Eight small hot and tepid rooms open on this space and are equipped with basins and marble benches.
The baths remained in usage, under the name 'Baths of Paradise', up until 1968, where they were leased to the Greek archaeological service for four years. After the 1978 Thessaloniki earthquake, which shook Thessaloniki especially hard, the baths were restored, and are used to this day for cultural events and short-lived exhibitions. Meanwhile, the eastern annex became the principal shop of the Foundation of Archaeological Receipts of the Hellenic Republic Ministry of Culture.References:
The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.
The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).
With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).
Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.
The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.
The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.
Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.