Ganj Ali Khan was the Safavid governor of Kerman in the 17th century. During his reign he constructed a collection of buildings including a bathhouse centred on a large square where caravans halted in another age. Every building and the complex itself are named after Ganj Ali Khan.
For visitors to Kerman, the Ganj Ali Khan bathhouse used by the public until 30 years ago is the most interesting part of the complex as it contains various interesting mural paintings and a fine collection of Iranian handmade glassware, woodwork and marble.
The old bath has a carefully designed and logical architecture specifically developed for this public bathhouse. Based on a circular floor plan the various rooms are linked to each other by curved passages designed to hinder the penetration of cold draughts from outside. Murals depicting scenes of animals decorate the principal entrance. The original plaster ornamentation of the Safavid era, demolished over the years, was restored in 1332 by Mirza Shahrokh inspired by Qajar paintings.
Converted recently to serve as a museum of anthropology the bathhouse now takes on a new life with the addition of life-size wax figures recalling the original purpose of the building.
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