Ganj Ali Khan Bath (Museum of Anthropology, Kerman)

Ganj Ali Khan's bath is one of the souvenirs of the Safavid period. This bath is part of the Ganj Ali Khan complex, which has a special reputation among tourists due to its architecture and decorations. The bath was restored in 1347 AH and after that it started working as an anthropological museum. There are wax figures in different places of the bath, which show people from different classes of society in the old days. The historical bath of Ganj Ali Khan is registered in the list of national monuments of the country.

According to historical documents, the Ganj Ali Khan complex was built in the Safavid era by the order of Ganj Ali Khan, the then ruler of Kerman. When Ganj Ali Khan assumed the throne of Kerman, he decided to take measures to improve the city. He built a large square more than 100 meters long and 50 meters wide to create a public promenade in the middle of Kerman city. Ganj Ali Khan surrounded this square from four sides with special buildings including school, mosque, bazaar and bathhouse, square market, reservoir and mint and created a great collection. The building of this complex was built gradually and the bath was built in 989 AH on the main road of Kerman market and south of Ganj Ali Khan complex.

Interestingly, people used this bath until 1316 AH until it was restored in 1347 AH and turned into an anthropology museum. This complex is now considered one of the most important sightseeing places in Kerman and hosts domestic and foreign tourists every year.

The architect and designer of Ganj Ali Khan bath was a person named Ostad Sultan Mohammad, a Yazdi architect. Also, this historical work seems to have been completed by Alimardan Khan, the son of Ganj Ali Khan, and it took its present form. Ganj Ali Khan Hammam is 26 meters long, 30 meters wide and about 1,300 square meters under the building, which has a entrance with a unique architecture, an entrance in the form of a corridor, a dressing room, a basin and a treasury. In the beautification and design of this historic work, the masters and prominent artists of ancient Iran have used very delicate paintings, the most beautiful tiles available, lighting the bathroom area, beautiful and eye-catching plaster decorations, and pleasant calligraphy. 

This bath depicts the combination of architectural art and the use of various materials with a suitable and people-friendly atmosphere. People-oriented architecture is dedicated to construction with components and sizes appropriate to human needs.

This bath, like other baths in ancient Iran, is made up of different and separate parts, including the royal part, so that the position of different classes of society (the rich and the common people) can be separated from each other. Great and creative architects of that time had designed a dressing room with 6 separate stalls for the comfort of the people. 

Also, the architects have given an impressive appearance to the entire bathroom by using colorful and beautiful tiles and stones. The ceiling of the dressing room is relatively high and is based on strong pillars. In addition to the booths around the dressing room, a beautiful pond stands out in the middle of these booths. The fountain installed in the center of this pond gives soothing music to the hearts of the visitors.

The most important architectural features of Ganj Ali Khan bath:

  • Mosaic tiles, seven colors and clay with a human image
  • Using aqueduct water and water supply network to Khazineh, Garmkhaneh, Sarbineh, ponds, ponds and numerous fountains
  • How to heat the air inside the bathroom and seal the tanks
  • Low height, narrow and long corridors and high height of the dressing room
  • The shape and decorations of the middle vestibules and fronts
  • Designing entrances and exits according to the space
  • The hollowness of the bathroom and the reduction of vibrations due to being placed inside the ground and being anti-seismic