(Persia Digest) - Mahdi Gholi Beyk bathhouse in Mashhad is a painting gallery where thirteen layers of murals have been painted on its walls based on the social and political events of the past 400 years.

Mahdi Gholi Beyk bathhouse, also known as Shah bathhouse, was built in 1027 AH by Mahdi Gholi Beyk, the liveryman of Shah Abbas of Safavid, and was dedicated to Astan Quds Razavi. This bathhouse built in 2000 square meters is one of the largest baths in Iran with a khazineh [basin].

Regardless of its size, the most important feature of this building is the thirteen layers of paintings, which is a social and political visual history of the Safavid up until the Qajar period. Older paintings contain the stories of the Shahnameh Book of Kings and old myths, and include images of the Qajar, Kuh-e Sangi, the national garden, execution grounds, airplanes, wheels and cars and the arrival of technology in Iran.

On the other hand, the relatively high floor to ceiling height of the baths, as well as the number of light wells and the diversity of their sizes, has provided a unique lighting; as the sun moves, different angles of the bathhouse turn dark and lit from sunrise to sunset. The main structure of the bathhouse is made of brick and lime, sarooj [a type of water-resistant mortar]; stones, glass, metal and tiles are among other materials used here.

Photos: Ehsan Rasouli / Tasnim

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