In the centre of StoneTown, you will find the Hamamni Persian Baths which were constructed the 1880s by Hadj Gulamhussein. Sultan Barghas bin Said, the son of the first Sultain Said, commissioned the baths to be constructed for public use. Although they were for the public, there was a minimal fee of about 10 cents. The Hamamni Persian Baths have been restored beautifully and are worth a visit when in Zanzibar.
The front rooms were used for changing, barbering, paying fees and socializing. There was a long hallway that leads to the warm room which was heated by underground hot-water channels. The other rooms include hot baths, cold baths, private shaving areas and toilets. The original building was bigger and had an arcade and a restaurant which have been turned into private residences. The Hamamni Persian Baths were technically public but were mainly frequented by the upper class as the poorer classes couldn’t afford to use the baths.
Although the Hamamni Baths welcomed both men and women, there were separate hours of admittance – women in the morning and men in the afternoon.
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