A peek into a historic bathhouse

Qazvin city in western Iran is known to be a place with many public bathhouses.

But for a peek at - and a photo of - how people in days of yore, well, kept themselves clean, one has to visit the Qajar Bathhouse and Anthropology Museum (above).

Qajar is one of the oldest and biggest bathhouses in Qazvin. It was built by a commander of Persian ruler Shah Abbas (1571-1629) of the Safavid dynasty, by royal decree.

In 2000, the bathhouse was turned into a museum and now displays wax figures showing the customs, ethnicities and different vocations in Qazvin.

There is a big octagonal pool (howz) in the middle of the changing room (sarbineh), with elevated platforms where customers once sat. The bathhouse includes a hot chamber (garm khaneh) and had separate sections for men and women.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2016, with the headline 'A peek into a historic bathhouse'. Print Edition | Subscribe