Mahdi Gholi Beyk Bathhouse

Photo essay: One of Mashhad’s best kept secrets

by shahireh sharif
One of Mashhad’s best kept secrets is the Mahdi Gholi Beyk bathhouse, also known as the king’s bath, which is one of the biggest Persian bathhouses. The building consists of different sections; the most interesting one is sarbonyeh or changing room. Sarbonyeh has a large dome resting on eight columns made out of stone, and is decorated by paintings in many superimposed layers. The oldest layer dates back to the Safavid dynasty (16th-18th century) and the newest one belongs to the Qajar dynasty (18th-20th century). The bathhouse contains unique structural features such as: skylights for taking advantage of the natural light; copper containers on burning wood for heating water and outlets for the smoke produced.

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Thanks for the comments

by shahireh sharif on

Thanks for your attention. As for as I know, the pictures are directly painted on the plaster (gach) layers. I'm not sure about the exact type of paint used. I'll try to find a better answer to your question and if succeed will add it here (but it won’t be till Aug. when I get a chance to go back to this piece).


Gorgeous, gorgeous!

by Marjaneh on

Thank you for showing these photos!

The paintings, what are they painted on and what material was used to paint during different era, please? 

Every fascism is an index of a failed revolution - Walter Benjamin


I always wonder if any hanky panky went on in these bathhouses!

by Anonymouse on

Beautiful architecture and beautiful photos capturing them. 

Everything is sacred.

shahireh sharif

Thanks for your attention

by shahireh sharif on

The set is incomplete; the rest of photos will follow soon.



Shame on regime for not making any attempt saving our heritage!

by obama on

This is true about most of our structures surprisingly including many masjeds! Look at Ali Ghapou and so on!

Ari Siletz

Sagittarius, Scorpio, Libra and a question

by Ari Siletz on

#13 suggests that the 4 sets of double columns are each topped with with three zodiak signs. In #7, why is Virgo out of order (should be Capricorn) and what's the zodiac sign next to her with the Matisse looking person holding a rope?


Thanks for this wonderful architectural tour. Do you happen to have pics of all four double columns?