Qajar-era bathhouse restored to former glory 

August 8, 2021 - 20:30

TEHRAN – Work has commenced restoring Hammam-e Hassan Abad, a Qajar-era (1789–1925) public bathhouse, which is located in the oasis city of Meybod in Yazd province. 

Strengthening and repairing the walls of the historical structure are parts of the restoration project, Maybod’s tourism chief Mehrdad Zolfaqari said on Sunday. 

With an area of 350 square meters, Hammam-e Hassan Abad has two small and big bathhouses as well as a cistern (Ab-anbar), the official added. 

The complex was inscribed on the national heritage list in 2007. 

Bathhouses or ‘hammams’ in Iran were not only places for bathing and cleaning up. They had a social concept for people who gathered at these places weekly.

It was a place where people talked with each other about their daily life and shared humor and news. There are still bathhouses in Iranian cities but they do not have their social function anymore since most people have bathrooms in their homes due to the modern lifestyle.

Some cities had separate bathhouses for men and women. They were usually built next to each other. However, there were some bathhouses, which were used by men and women at different times of the day.

There were also male and female public bathhouses; at daybreak, a longhorn (booq-e javaz) was blown to announce that the bath was ready. Men came to the baths from daybreak till the afternoon. Women could use the bathhouses from then to sunset. In some cases, five days were allocated to men and two days to women.

Persian literature is full of proverbs, narrations, and folk stories about bathhouses, which indicate the importance of the place in the past time.

According to UNESCO, Meybod is a remarkable example of the viability and transmission of human being’s collective thoughts from different generations to the present one. “What is significant in the city of Meybod is the regularity in city planning. The anatomy and spatial structure of the city show original plans which conform with the old Iranian city planning.”

Wedged between the northern Dasht-e Kavir and the southern Dasht-e Lut on a flat plain, Yazd enjoys a very harmonious public-religious architecture that dates from different eras.

Yazd is usually referred to as a delightful place to stay, or a “don't miss” destination by almost all of its visitors. The city is full of mudbrick houses that are equipped with innovative badgirs (wind catchers), atmospheric alleyways, and many Islamic and Iranian monuments that shape its eye-catching city landscape.

It is a living testimony to the intelligent use of limited available resources in the desert for survival. Water is brought to the city by the qanat system. Each district of the city is built on a qanat and has a communal center.

The use of earth in buildings includes walls and roofs by the construction of vaults and domes. Houses are built with courtyards below ground level, serving underground areas. Wind-catchers, courtyards, and thick earthen walls create a pleasant microclimate.

ABU/AFM
 

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