Sultan Amir Ahmad bathhouse is located in Kashan and its history dates back to Seljuk period. This monument is known by unique roof and ornament among the historical baths in Iran. There is Sultan Amir Ahmad shrine; near the bathhouse, which bath got its name from this it. Sultan Amir Ahmad bathhouse was registered in the Iran national monument list in 1975.
History of Sultan Amir Ahmad bathhouse
In the past, public baths played an important role in the personal and social life of the people; they were not just a place to wash, but also a place for worship, socializing, gathering and even important decisions. There were public baths in Iran before Islam, but with the arrival of Islam and dissemination of its orders, the bath became one of the requirements of life. Over time and urban and rural development, baths were built in every house, and public baths fell out of boom. However, the baths that belonged to the rich and have beautiful decorations remained as tourist attractions. One of these baths is Sultan Amir Ahmad bathhouse, which dates back to Seljuk and Qajar era. Finally, the bath was repaired in 1996 and was changed use as a traditional restaurant and then a museum.
Architecture of Sultan Amir Ahmad bathhouse
Due to the use building as a bath, the architects deal with particular techniques; because it was necessary to provide heat energy and water then optimize their use. Sultan Amir Ahmad bathhouse has the elegant tile and plasterwork and is the most beautiful historical bath in Iran. Its vault ceilings and the glass inside them (Goljam), have the eye-catching beauty in addition to providing light, conditioning the weather, is a special subject for photographers. The bath water was supplied from two wells, and were transported to different parts by the pottery pipes (Tanboosheh). Warming up the water in metal containers provided warm water for washing and warmed the bath. Sultan Amir Ahmad historical bath includes two large and small baths. We will continue to explain the different parts of it:
The bathroom door usually has indent than the alleyway or street, which attracted the passersby’s attention. There were two platforms in front of door (Jelo- Khan) and used by the old people for rest, that was called Pir-Neshin. Bathroom entrances were decorated with plasterwork and tile including shrubbery, hunting, women and men designs. Hashti (The space behind the doorway) and hallways connect the interior and exterior spaces. These spiral hallways prevented the outflow of, and balanced body temperature slowly.
After passing through the corridors, you are directed to Sarbineh. A place for changing clothes that kept its temperature so warm that the person was preparing to enter or leave the bathroom. Sultan Amir Ahmad’s Sarbineh is a relatively big space with beautiful decorations and enough light to be divided into two parts with eight columns. The middle part with a pool in it is used for traffic, and the peripheral part including platforms for changing clothes. The two stalls in platforms were belong to the noblesse and rich people. In the ceiling there is a skylight that designed by Shamseh (Sun) pattern (The symbolic ancient pattern).
Bineh (sudatorium) and Khazineh
After passing through the narrow corridors, we arrive to Bineh or a sudatorium. This section has less ornament than Sarbineh and people wash their body. Bineh is made of mortar that repels water. Bineh including three spaces that middle space used to traffic and two other spaces for bathing. Khazineh was a small room like pool on the fireplace where people take their required warm water. Every few days, Khazineh water was changed and if sludge settled, it was cleaned by special tool. The warm water was directed to other parts of the bathroom by the pottery pipes called “Tanboosheh”.
Ton or Golkhon (fireplace)
Under Khazineh, there was a space to turn on the fire and heat water. This part was called Ton or Golkhon. The smoke of the Ton was repelled through the Bineh’s pores; in fact, these pores heat bath similar to the radiator.
The most attractive part of Sultan Amir Ahmad historical house is its roof. Dome roofs and glass holes have created a fascinating landscape. These glasses, which are called ” Goljam”, in addition to providing the light, prevent the entering of insects and view into the bathroom. The number of glasses and their diameter influenced the area of the bathroom and its temperature.