Sheikh Bahai Bath in Isfahan

Sheikh Bahai Bath in Isfahan
by msabaye

Photo taken on the roof of Sheikh Bahai Bath in Isfahan
I had heard about Sheikh Bahai Bath in Isfahan since early childhood. The genius of a candle fueling a public bath amazed me. I also learned that some western scientists, trying to discover how it worked, damaged it to the point that it stopped functioning.
In February of 2009, I traveled to Isfahan. I found the city far more interesting than is generally known. A very nice combination of old and new, religious and secular, and a definite spirit of confidence and a strong will to preserve. There were mosques, churches, and a fire temple. Palaces, museums, old public baths and modern cafeterias coexisted peacefully.
On top of my to-see-list was Sheikh Bahai's bath. The cab driver dropped me off at the Bazar and pointed to an alley. I followed the directions and came across an old door with a large lock on it. There was a notice by the government -I cannot remember whether it was municipal or some other level- asking those who had any claim to the property to step forward. I asked about and found out someone in a nearby shop had the key. A very kind old man came and let me in. I couldn't believe what I saw: well, remnants of a fountain and a few stairs amongst rubble and ruin. I kept looking for things I had read about, but the place might have as well been just about anywhere. I went upstairs and took the only photo I could think of. It doesn't say much or perhaps mean much, but I just wanted to have something with me.
I am -unfortunately- used to seeing neglected historical sites and buildings all over Iran. In some places, I have seen people determined to ruin them. I saw young men in Darab throwing stones at carvings on a rock depicting Dariush; I saw men in Dezful lighting fire to make kabob right by Yaqub Leis tomb, ... Never in Isfahan: this was the only place that seemed to have been left out by people who, otherwise, seemed so proud of their city.


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Jahanshah Javid

Unbelievable but not surprising

by Jahanshah Javid on

Very sad indeed. There are not many historical sites as important. It's inconceivable that it's not being taken care of and, even worse, being offered to anyone who has a "claim" to it. Inconceivable but, unfortunately, not surprising over there.

The property notice sounds fishy. Looks like greed is once again rearing its ugly head and the expense of heritage.