Ali Gholi Agha Hammam: A Historical Bathhouse in Iran's Isfahan
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Ali Gholi Agha, one of the high ranking court officials at the last Safavid king Shah Sultan Hussein, built a bathhouse, bazaar and mosque in the quarter with the same name in Bidabad district of Iran's central province of Isfahan.
This has recently been renovated by the municipality of Isfahan and is now open to visitors.
There is also a bathhouse that is considered to be the most attractive in Iran. After renovation, it has been turned into an ethnological museum containing waxworks. The bathhouse has two parts, private and public.
The decorations are polychrome tile and faience mosaic from the 17th century Safavid era but the murals are from the 19th century Qajarid and the 20th century Pahlavid dynasties.
They were considered as public buildings and were located in the centre of quarters, along the bazaar axis next to mosques and caravanserais. Hammam were used by both genders at different hours. The bathhouse consisted of two main sections; Sarbineh section or the cloak room of the bathhouse and Garmkhaneh section which was the pleasantly warm bathing place.
This bathhouse had water pools with a desirable temperature and it had diving boards. The water needed for bathhouses was supplied through water well and a special place was dedicated to it, called Gav Chah.
This was a corridor with a slight slope in which a cow or bull walked and pulled up a leather bucket filled with water from a well, using this cow power a water reservoir was filled. From there the water was transferred to the ponds of the bathhouse through baked clay pipes and in this way the continuous need for water would be satisfied.