WIT Press

On the change of historic hospital spaces and furnishing designs from 13th to 17th century in Anatolia


Free (open access)


Volume 2 (2018), Issue 4



Page Range

453 - 467

Paper DOI



WIT Press


Gülşen Dişli


As the core places of healthcare systems and medicine education, understanding of working principles, conceptual designs and specific characteristics of the functional spaces in historic hospitals of Anatolia can potentially contribute significantly to survival of those buildings. Attention to the change of historic hospital spaces and the original furnishing designs in those spaces is, however, rather a rare research area. Hence, this article argues that a proper determination of functional spaces and their original fur- nishing designs is an essential step requiring a comprehensive research. Therefore, this article first aimed at analysing different functions of the spaces in total 12 case study hospitals reflecting their unique culture and history and developmental stage of their own period as well. The functional spaces include patients’ rooms, pharmacy, policlinics, latrines, surgery rooms, baths, kitchens and many others. The focus of this study is on the historic hospitals still existent today in Anatolia built from the 13th to 17th centuries, constructed by Seljuks and Ottomans. Literature, archival and historical survey as well as in situ observations are the main methods applied during this study. Among them, waqf deeds, gravures, miniatures, accounting registers, excavation reports and travellers’ accounts were the basic primary sources. The case study hospitals from Seljuk and Ottoman periods have been compared in terms of similarities and differences of their functional spaces and furnishing design arrangements. The research showed that as a result of the increasing needs and developments in technology, different spaces were designed nearly for all functions, and many others were lost during the transition period from Seljuks to Ottomans


Anatolia, Seljuk and Ottoman periods, functional spaces, furnishing, historic hospitals, interior fittings.