The entrance of the hammam is a sight in itself: a high vault, with the blue-and-green glazed tiles you could also see in mosques around the country. Once inside, I am impressed by the rich decorative tile-work that embellish the walls, the ceilings and the arches. We first stop in a, octagonal, central hall, with a pool in the middle: this is the sarbineh, the dressing hall, where visitors used to leave their clothes, and get ready for a visit to the bathhouse proper. Some of us cannot resist and stick their feet in the fresh water in the small pool in the middle. I walk the corridor surrounding the central section, with alcoves, all richly decorated as well. It took a restoration to re-establish the beauty of this hammam to its former glory. We keep our clothes on, and move to the next section, where the actual baths are.
These are smaller, and the pools are in a floor that is lower than the rest of the complex. Copper bowls contained the water that was to be heated, and then found its way to the various baths through a pipe system - all hidden under the floor. Some of the garmkhaneh, or bathrooms are as lavishly decorated as the sarbineh. Here, people would be scrubbed, relaxed, and talked; the bathhouse was not all about relaxation. There is one room with pillows and carpets, for meetings after or before the bath. We walk around the bathhouse, which is well lighted also thanks to the glass windows in the small cupolas in the ceiling high above. Even though outside it is hot, inside the temperature is pleasant, and we stay for quite a while, enjoying the elaborate decorative elements found everywhere.
Oh, if only it would be possible to go back in time, and see Persians talking here, in these classy surroundings, about business and politics, and, who knows, private affairs. But the hammam is more like a museum now, and we walk the stairs to the roof. Not only do we now see how the ingenuous light system works, with many glass windows in each small dome, done in such a way that no one could look inside, but also enjoy the views of Kashan all around. Badgirs, or wind-towers, define the skyline in this old part of town, together with minarets, and cupolas of other historic buildings. After enjoying the views from the roof of this remarkable bathhouse for a while, we descend the stairs, to have a drink around the corner before we continue for more exploration of Kashan.
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Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Hammam-e Sultan mir Ahmed (Iran). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Hammam-e Sultan mir Ahmed. Read more about this site.