Historical bathhouses of Iran have the most exclusive architecture in the world. Nowadays, most people have private baths in their homes, but in past, there were only public baths. In addition to being a place for washing they also were for family, friends, business, and even political gatherings.
According to the world’s famous tourist’s sayings such as Marco Polo, Jean Chardin, and Pietro Dellavalle, Iranian bathhouses were the most interesting inventions that had many usages. But unfortunately, there are only a few of these urban heritages left all around the country. Haj Askar Khan Bathhouse is a good example to understand the structure of these places.
Haj Askar Khan bathhouse is considered one of the historical attractions of Qom which is located in an old neighborhood of the city.
Despite the rapid growth of Qom city that has brought a new wave of demolition and new constructions, this bathhouse still has preserved its originality and shows the beauty of ancient Iranian architecture to the future.
This bathhouse was placed in the middle of a crowded bazaar and according to an inscription that was found there archaeologists guess the building was built during the early Qajar period. (1216)
This collection consists of two parts:
2. Chale Hoz
Haj Askar Khan bathhouse has a rectangular entrance, but the main building is a square and in the center of this space there is a dome which gives a beautiful shape to the whole building.
The second space is in the form of a porch and its dome differs from the first dome in the number of columns.
Despite the renovations, the general form of this bathhouse is still the same as it used to be.
Haj Askar Khan bathhouse is composed of a dressing hall and hot bathing room and good facilities and services are provided for people who want to take a bath or get a massage. (Local people are at the top of this list)
1. Occasionally, meetings and talks between government officials took place in the bathhouses.
2. Some celebrations, such as the bride and groom bath, were held in these bathhouses.
3. Sometimes bathhouses became the scene of fights or even assassinations.
4. Bathhouses also had healing functions. The existence of hot and cold water reservoirs has been used to treat some diseases, and in the past, the bath was a place for cupping and applying henna.
Although many of these traditions have disappeared, this bathhouse still continues its activities, and it is really worth seeing.
Written by: Reihanneh Vaezi