Tuesday, April 19, 2011
The Kordasht Bath is a historical structure located in the central section of Jolfa in East Azerbaijan province. The Bath and Kordasht Village that it’s situated in are on the southern banks of the Aras River . It is bordered by peaks of Armenia on the northern side and the Kamtal Mountains in the south. Its geographic location enables it to have mild winters and warm summers. Annually the Bath and Village are host to thousands of visitors and tourists.
The Bath was constructed in the midst of a large garden during the Safavid Era during the reign of Shah Abbas. It was built upon Shah Abbas’s orders and originally it was considered a royal bath for use only by royalty. Commissioned by Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar, it underwent some renovation during the Qajar Era which transformed it into its current form. Its appearance aside, one of the changes that Agha Mohammad Khan declaring it open for use by the public. Throughout the years not much maintenance was carried out for the Bath and it ultimately went through natural deterioration. Such was the level of such deterioration that people stopped using the facility and it in effect became an abandoned relic of the past. Following this phase the Kordasht Bath became recognized as one of Azerbaijan ’s historical structures and began attracting visitors.
The Bath has some impressive interior carvings, adding to its charm. From the point of view of internal arrangement and wall paintings it is simply spectacular. Upon entrance a first set of stairs lead to an initial sitting area. A further eight stairs brings you to an octagonal shaped changing room. The changing room has a domed roof which is supported by eight decorated columns. A hallway connects the changing room to another octagonal shaped room that contains the main pool. To its left are two toilets and a smaller pool. This room which is supported by four columns has a waterway that directs hot water into the pool. The room receives natural light via intentional ducts scattered throughout the ceiling.