Daut - Pasha Amam (Baths), Skopje
See the interior of the Daut - Pasha Amam.
See the Daut - Pasha Amam from the bird's-eye view.
The construction of this monumental building of the secular Islamic architecture was funded by the Grand Vizier of Rumelia, Daut - Pasha, who was at service in Skopje between 1489 - 1497. The names of the constructors are unknown. Its ground plan is rectangle with small extensions on the northern and southern sides. The facades are flat, yet vividly molded by the alternating use of chiseled stone and two or three vertically affixed bricks laid above two rows of horizontally aligned, clearly distinguishing and plastically modeled fugues. The windows of the upper section, unlike the ones in the lower section, have decorative blind niches with pointed endings. The framing walls of the main door are made up of profiled slabs. The Baths is capped with a total of 13 domes, 2 of which are large, 3 are medium-sized, 2 are smaller, and 6 are quite small. Dominating on the western side are the two large domes, and the rest are asymmetrically arranged. Underneath them are 15 separate rooms. The Baths were divided into two sections, each with one waiting room and one that served as a dressing room and a wardrobe. The two large rooms in the central area had magnificent and opulently ornamented fountains. Some of the smaller rooms had a white marble "kurni" (receptacles for collecting the bathing water), others were used as a sort of sauna. The division at two almost equal sections with the same function shows that the Baths were used for the simultaneous use of both women and men. Men used the western, and women the eastern entrance. There was another entrance on the eastern side, used by the Baths' maintenance staff.

People who would see the immense Baths for the first time used to wonder at its constant heating and normal functioning. This incurred the birth of several legends that expressed doubt on whether the baths were actually ever put into use. According to one of them, to maintain the temperature in the rooms and of the water required enormous quantities of firewood brought from Mount Vodno. However, since the forests of this mountain were entirely wasted, the lack of firewood resulted in the eventual closing up of the Baths. Yet another legend says that, before it became active, the Baths were visited by the daughter of Vizier Daut - Pasha. Then a gigantic poisonous snake came out of the walls and bit the girl. She died, and Daut - Pasha ordered the Baths to be closed, never again to be used for its original purpose. Nevertheless, its conservation process revealed significant layers of lime in the Baths' waterpipes.

In 1948 it was decided that the building should be restored and that its use should be changed. After the reconstruction it was converted into Art Gallery, and have been used for that purpose for several decades. The permanent exhibition excellently presents the works of the Macedonian painters, beginning from the late XIX century to the most recent ones. Moreover, collective and individual exhibitions of both Macedonian and foreign artists have been continually organized there, as well as literature presentations and concerts.
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