Introduction of Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse
Natural disasters are among the events that human beings have no role in controlling among which, earthquakes are the most horrible ones that could simply be defined as massive change, taking action in a moment. Even though the phenomenon is painful, could make the sense of creation sprout in men soul; Like a phoenix emerging from under its own ashes. Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse could be one the same incarnations which has become true due to this transformation. Not only the bath includes two different parts, but also narrates two different stories of two far historical period’s culture. Each narration has somehow penetrated through the body of the structure; In its tiles, the pillars, and every single figure which catches your eyes.
History of Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse
Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse in Kashan is a delightful monument, near the tomb of Sultan Amir in Kashan. Not exact information about the person, Sultan Amir Ahmad, is available but, from the evidence left before the famous earthquake of the 12th century AH, the building can be dated to the reign of the Seljuks. About the construction of this building this must be added that, what we see as the greenhouse of the bath, was built during the Qajar era. The utilization of the Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse was change during the 1375 AH in to a café and a restaurant, after a restoration. Nowadays, the monument is being used as an anthropology museum.
Architecture of Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse
What we see as the Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse, is a leap in history from the Seljuk, to the Qajar era. Entering the bath, you’ll face a space with two different decorations, telling two different narrations of its history. This bathhouse could be mentioned as the most modern historical bath of its time. The building consists of two small and large baths that were used by locals on special days of the week. The two small and large parts of the bathroom, respectively, include parts such as the front yard (Jelo Khan), the entrance, the vestibule, the corridors, the sarbineh (clothing room), the middle door, Garmkhaneh (the warm house), and other sections. Of course, the two main spaces in the old baths are 1- Sarbineh and 2- Garmkhaneh, respectively.
The Dressing Room
The first space to enter or, the last place to leave is the dressing room or, the place to prepare for bathing. Bineh, or Sarbineh, is the most important and stunning sector; A large space, decorated in a stunning way, including a large dome and a pool in the middle. The floor of this section, and the surrounding parts are usually made of stone. Around the middle space of Bineh, there are platforms for people to rest, to enter which, they had to climb a few steps and wash their feet in the pools on the platforms before entering.
Of course, the roof of Sultan Amira Ahmad’s bath is octagonal in shape with beautiful beds and formal ceilings and stone shoes, the pillars and walls of which, are decorated with mosaic tiles. On the roof of Sarbineh, the honorable phrase La ilaha illa Allah (for the qibla) and on the opposite side, the date 1192 AH is a sign of restoration of the place after the famous earthquake of Zandieh period. Most bathroom decorations have always been used in the clothing room. The ordinary lighting has added to the effect of these decorations. The pool inside the clothing room and its fountain have doubled the tranquility of the space.
The second space is the warm house; The place to wash the body. The warm house is often a simpler space, with corners for sitting and washing. There is a hot-water tank, a cold-water tank, and more private bathing areas next to the greenhouse.The lightning of the warm house is provided by the daylight. There are skylights with lens-like glass so that enough light enters the bathroom and is not seen inside the bathroom by naughty children.
One of the most important parts of this building is the limestone and plaster casts, of which 17 restoration layers indicate the antiquity of the building. Another masterpiece of the building is its beautiful roof. The roof of this bath is one of the most beautiful dome-shaped roofs in Persia. On each dome, convex lens glasses are placed to provide sufficient light for different parts of the bath, to prevent visibility.