By Laman Ismayilova
The tradition of bathing is considered an integral part of the Azerbaijani culture. The country is famous for its beautiful old bath-houses (hammams).
The hammams became a place not just to cleanse oneself, but became a social element of city life.
This was Baku residents' favorite spot to discuss recent events or to get ready for wedding ceremonies.
The bathhouses also known as hammams are under state protection as one of the country's most remarkable architectural monuments.
With its majestic architectural wonders, the Old City hides numerous bathhouses including the famous Gasim-bay hammam.
The bathhouse was constructed in the 17th century by millionaire and philanthropist Gasim-bay near the Salyan door (gate).
It is often called "Shirin" (sweet) as the tea here was given together with sweets and pastries.
The hammam was built in all the traditions of Shirvan-Absheron architecture. The exterior consists of domes located on a low-rise building.
The main domes located above the central part of the bath have the shape of an octagon. Inside there is a vestibule, followed by dressing rooms and baths with a cruciform dome and cameras in the corners.
There is also a swimming pool and a stove. In addition, a corridor was created by combining both corner cells into a single space.
Water supply and heating were ensured using ceramic pipes located in the walls and under the floor.
The bath is included in the list of protected by the state monuments of history and culture located on the territory of Azerbaijan. It is considered to be the second most famous bathhouse in Baku.
Due to their importance in preparing for prayer, bathhouses were often built in close proximity to mosques. Therefore, Gasim-bay built a hammam next to his mosque.
Over the past 30 years, the bathhouse has been closed to visitors. Restoration work will be carried out in the bathhouse in near future.
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