Ali Gholi Agha Historical Bath

Ali Gholi Agha Historical Bath

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"Ali Gholi Agha Hammam" which was a traditional public bathroom is located in Isfahan's Bidabad neighborhood on the north side of Zayandehrood River.

Ali Gholi Agha Hammam was part of a complex consisting of a mosque, a bathroom, a bazaar and a caravanserai. The Ali Gholi Agha Hammam were built in Safavi era by the order of Ali Gholi Agha for public services and in public benefit.

In Iranian history, bathing was more than just a wash. People in public baths visited relatives and friends and were informed and up to date about their social, political status. Arrangements for some of the marriages were taken place there.  The bath were host and a part of the wedding and birth celebrations.

Years have passed and other public baths have lost their former functions but few have survived. Among the city's public baths, only those which survived are used in the form of anthropological museums or even Cafe, residence or restaurants nowadays. Many historical houses in Iran could not survive areound the public batroom, however, kianpour luxury house accommodation in Isfahan did.

One of these beautiful examples is the "Ali Quli Agha Bath" in Isfahan's Bidabad neighborhood.  To get to the bathroom you can walk or use bicycle that is rented in the lower Chahar Bagh street area. Because this historical residence in Iran is only 700 meters away from Ali Gholi Agha Hammam.

The Ali Gholi Agha Hammam Complex consists of a large and small baths; the larger bath were used by men and the smaller bath were used by women. 

Large bathroom (Hammam Bozorg)

Sarbines: The entrance to the large bathroom is an octagonal enclosure that connects to the Sarbanes or cloakroom after passing through two corridors perpendicular. To provide the illumination here on the dome-shaped ceiling of the bathroom, there are holes known as "cups" in which are convex and lens-shaped glass. These jars not only prevent energy loss, they break down the light and spread the light in the yard. Also, because of the glass, nobody on the roof can see inside the bathroom.

In the upstairs space, there are four ponds inside the platforms for clients to wash their feet, before entering the platform. The Sarbineh is connected to the greenhouse by a corridor. The interesting thing about this bathroom is that in a few bathrooms beside the ponds, you will see one-meter-long white stones those surface is ribbed and has gentle bumps. The stones were designed like a chair rest and perpendicular to the ponds, which probably served as a massager.

Incubator: The floor of the incubator is covered with marble, the floor of which has always been warm. Around the wall of the greenhouse is decorated with tile decorations with floral, chicken and Islamic designs. Here you will find a large pool, known as the "Dock Pool", which was probably used for immersion in hot water. On either side of the main axis of this space are two Shah-neshins, probably one used to jump in the water and the other were designed to be used for audiences. You will reach the bathroom fountain by passing a few steps along the stairwell. On the other side of the treasury are two other private bathing places that are known as the Shah-neshin too.

Small Bathroom: The small bathroom has the same architectural structure as the large bathroom, except that it is implemented on a smaller scale. The small bathroom has regular, geometric spaces. The base of the bath is square in shape and the platforms with their ponds are on three sides. The bathhouse is an eight-and-a-half-meter-wide space with eight stone pillars, with a central vault. The spaces around the middle section are covered with shorter arches and there are places for washing. After a few steps from the floor of the dormitory you can enter through the treasury door.

Heating system: The water was pumped and transported to a rooftop reservoir and then directed to trenches and ponds. The baths included a heating system, a fuel cell, a Toon (a water heater) and an ash collection pit, which were also located west of the bath.

The sewage disposal system has been by the Gandab method. The sewage were channeled through the two floor of the incubator and the lead. Eventually, the Gandab would reach to a large yard on the back of the bathroom, where it would be moved out of town after drying.

Party colors

As stated in the beginning of this article, Ali Gholi Agha Hammam, the complex was built in the first half of the twelfth century AH and finally opened in 2005 as an anthropological museum. The antiquities of bath decorations and paintings date back to the Sufi period and some of the paintings were added during the Qajar period. Current sculptures are also related to recent years.


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