Daut Pasha Hammam, an old Turkish bath house, is situated in the Old Bazaar of Skopje. Built in the 15th century, it was used as a public bath for a long time. Today it hosts the National Art Gallery and is one of the most impressive Islamic buildings from the time of the Ottoman Empire.
The building itself is fascinating from an architectural point of view. It has a rectangular shape and is built of big pieces of stone and bricks with massive walls. The interior contains 15 rooms, but only several contain publicly displayed art works. The roof consists of 13 asymmetrical domes in different sizes. On the top there are small star-shaped windows through which the sunbeams make an interesting effect inside the building. For the architecture fans, this is the number one place to go.
In 1948 it was adapted into an art gallery with its own collection and permanent exhibition. The art collection contains paintings by Macedonian artists from the 14th to the 20th century and and a small collection of icons. The hammam is more than just a gallery. It is a multi-functional centre of art and culture. Many theatre shows, performances, multimedia projects, concerts, book launches and other cultural events are held at the Hammam throughout the year.
For me Daut Pasha Hammam is more than a local treasure, it raises awareness and knowledge of Macedonia’s contemporary culture. Therefore, it is a must in our city.