January 28, 2023

Persian News

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Hand-carved bathhouse, a top tourist attraction in northwest Iran

TEHRAN – Dash Hammami, a hand-carved bathhouse in the heart of a cave in Givi, northwestern province of Ardabil, is one of the top tourist destinations of the region and a masterpiece of troglodyte architecture.

One of the oldest bathhouses in Iran, it is still used by the locals. It has a rectangular space made of stone all around, and the central space has been dug into the ground in order to keep the air warm and suitable.

A natural stone ceiling covers the whole space, and the bathing space consists of 40 square meters, where water boils from three springs and falls into a pool, and water drops drip from different parts of the roof.

The water in this historical stone bathhouse varies in temperature, and the hot water, which does not exceed 20 degrees, is used as a shower.

Those who have experienced bathing in this historic bathhouse say that bathing is not very pleasant at first, but as soon as one is wet, it becomes so soothing and pleasant that one cannot leave.

Although the local residents have baths in their homes, they use this stone bath to recall the past and consider it a relic of their ancestors. It is free of charge, and its hygiene is taken care of with the help of local residents.

The historical structure has been inscribed on the national heritage list.

Bathhouses or ‘hammams’ in Iran were not the 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 old times.

Sprawling on a high, windswept plateau, Ardabil is well-known for having abundant natural beauty, hospitable people, and its silk and carpet trade tradition. It is also home to the UNESCO-registered Sheikh Safi al-Din Khanegah and the Shrine Ensemble.

The province is freezing in winter and mild in summer, attracting thousands every year. The capital city of Ardabil is usually recorded as one of the coldest cities in the country in winter.

ABU/AM

Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/481167/Hand-carved-bathhouse-a-top-tourist-attraction-in-northwest

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