Bathhouse to undergo urgent restoration

May 29, 2022 - 21:0

TEHRAN –An urgent restoration project is planned to begin on a Qajar-era (1789–1925) public bathhouse in Naft Sefid village, Haftkel county, the southwestern province of Khouzestan, Haftkel’s tourism chief has said. 

As a result of its historical value and unique architecture, the bathhouse is extremely valuable for locals and could become a tourist destination after being restored, Ebrahim Esmipur explained on Sunday. 

The project aims at repairing and reviving the historical structure, which was inscribed on the national heritage list in 2019, the official added. 

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.

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

Khuzestan is home to three UNESCO World Heritage sites of Susa, Tchogha Zanbil, and Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System yet it is a region of raw beauty that its visitors could spend weeks exploring. The province is also a cradle for handicrafts and arts whose crafters inherited from their preceding generations.

Lying at the head of the Persian Gulf and bordering Iraq on the west, Khuzestan was settled about 6000 BC by a people with affinities to the Sumerians, who came from the Zagros Mountains region. Urban centers appeared there nearly contemporaneously with the first cities in Mesopotamia in the 4th millennium. Khuzestan, according to Encyclopedia Britannica, came to constitute the heart of the Elamite kingdom, with Susa as its capital.

ABU/AFM 

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