Bathhouse to be repurposed into heritage museum

November 14, 2021 - 21:31

TEHRAN – The Safavid-era (1501-1736) Haj Saleh public bathhouse in the western Iranian city of Saqqez, Kordestan province will be repurposed into a museum, a local tourism official has announced. 

The historical structure has been completely restored and is ready to open as a museum that focuses on history and archaeology, Bahram Nasrollahi said on Saturday. 

The project will be carried out in collaboration with Saqqez Municipality, the official added. 

The monument, which is the oldest bathhouse in the region, has been inscribed on the national heritage list. 

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.

The name Kordestan refers to the region’s principal inhabitants. After the Turkish invasion of Iran in the 11th century CE (Seljuk period), the name Kurdistan was applied to the region comprising the northwestern Zagros Mountains. It was during the reign of Abbas I the Great of Iran’s Safavid dynasty (1501–1736) that the Kurds rose to prominence, having been enlisted by Abbas I to help stem the attacks of the marauding Uzbeks from the east in the early 17th century.

ABU/AFM
 

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