Desert Pearl, Kashan
Kashan is the historical city located in Esfahan province in Iran, which is the first of oases along the Qum-Kerman road that runs along the edge of the Dash-e-Kavir, central desert in Iran. Sialk hillocks located in 4 km west of Kashan reveal one of the primary prehistoric civilizations around 6000 years ago. Moreover, the most well-known historical houses that were built during 18th and 20th century are among the other sites of tourist attractions addressed to be one of breathtaking sites in Kashan. After Esfahan and Shiraz, Kashan known as the most popular city among foreign tourists due to its various tourist attractions. In below, Parvaz Aram Abi tries to introduce the most well-known sceneries and historical sites in Kashan.
1 . Agha-Bozorg mosque
Agha-Bozorg Mosque is the historical mosque in Kashan that was built in 19 century and is one of the best examples of the architectural masterpieces in Qajarieh era that consists two porches, one in front of sanctuary which has 2 minarets with brick dome and the other one located in the entrance door. Furthermore, a courtyard in the middle comprises trees and a fountain in center.
2 . Sialk hillocks (Sialk Ziggurat)
The Sialk Ziggurat is a largest ancient archeological site in Kashan close to Fin Garden that was told it built by Sialk People, the ancient residents of Kashan. A joint study between the Louver, the institute Francais de Recherché en Iran, and Iran’s culture heritage organization verify the oldest settlement in Sialk back to 5500-6000 BC.
3 . The Traditional Kashan Bazaar
The traditional and oldest Bazaar in Kashan in which located in central of Kashan have been built in Seljuk era (11 century), although its renovation had been done in Safavid period (15 century). Most of its stores have remained until now, and some of them belonged to dozens of generations in which have been transferred to their offspring’s. Most of tourists believe that the most stunning feature of the Bazaar is its impressive ceiling.
4 . Traditional Persian Architecture, Ameri House and Abbasi house, and Tabatabaei house
During 18th and 19th centuries, Kashan was a favorite vacation spot for Iranian wealthy traders and noblemen. In fact, those times were a prosperous times for Iranian merchants to trade between Iran and Russia. Although, in late of 18th century, cause of deadly earthquake in Kashan, most of historical architectures were collapsed including the more wealthy architectures that were built by Shah Abbas I, the mighty Safavid King (1571-1629 CE), however, some of them were survived and others were reconstructed over times.
The most prominent among these impressive architectures can be addressed to Ameri, Abbasi and Tabatabaei houses, all of which, nowadays, have been turned into public museum.
Ameri house was built during Zand era (middle of 18th century) for Agha-Ameri who was responsible for security of Tehran and Kerman route. The house was built in an area of 9000 square meters and has 7 courtyards, like the other house around, it was renovated in 19th century due to fatal earthquake occurred in the late of 18th century.
Abbasi house is among the largest historical architecture in Kashan that was built in the late 18th century. The house has six courtyards and after death of its primary owner was separated and turned into 6 independent different house that would have been fitted for different families.
Abbasi house as viewpoint of architectural site has an impressive design with stunning stucco, delightful wall painting and Islamic architecture decorations standing in the peak of beauty and elegance.
Tabatabaei house is one of the most stunning historical buildings where located in the old part of Kashan. This house Considered as the masterpiece of architecture, by which Tabatabaei, one of the most prominent carpet merchant, which was built in late the 18th century. This stunning house consists 40 rooms, 4 yards, 4 cellars, 3 windward, and 2 aqueducts; moreover, it comprises wall painting, elegant stain glass windows as well as other classic features of tradition Persian architecture, such as Biruni and Andaruni.
5 . Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse
Sultan Ahmad Bathhouse is a historical Iranian Public Bathhouse that was built in 16th century during Safavid Dynasty, even though it was renewed during Qajar Dynasty due to the fatal earthquake in 1778 that caused widespread damages, in addition, lastly renovation was done in 1996 successfully. The bathhouse covered an area of 1000 square meters including 2 main parts, Sarbineh (dressing hall), large octagonal hall and pool separated by 8 pillars from outer section, and the other part called Garmineh (the hot bathing hall) includes smaller bathing rooms and entrance section which called Khazineh (final bathing room). You can see impressive decoration of turquoise, gold tile-work, brickwork and artistic painting inside of the bathhouse, moreover, its roof consisting of multiple domes that contain convex glasses to provide adequate lighting into bathhouse while hiding it form of outside.
6 . Fin Garden
Fin Garden primarily designed as a form of Persian style garden for Shah Abass I, the mightiest king of Safavid Dynasty, who like Kashan very much insofar as he ordered to buried in Kashan. This spectacular garden added to the world heritage of UNESCO in 2011 along other Iranian heritage sites, which is covered 23000 square meters with Cedar trees dating back to 500 years surrounded the garden and its turquoise seven ponds.
On one side of the garden is the bathhouse where Amir-Kabir, Iranian Hero, prime minister under Naser-od-Shah from 1848 to 1851 was assassinated cause of plotting the king’s mother. He was fundamental reformed especially in the fields of education and administration, but his popularity had not been appreciated by royal court and the king’s families, therefore, he was imprisoned in Fin Garden and eventually killed in the bathhouse.
7 . The shrine of Imamzadeh Hilal Ibn Ali
The beautiful shrine of Imamzadeh Hilal Ibn Ali, Prophet Mohammad offspring’s, located in Aran Va Bidgol, a village situated about 15 Km north-west of Kashan. The mausoleum decorated elaborately and designed colorfully. It has one of places near Kashan that has a worth to see it.
8 . Maranjab Carvansary
Maranjab Caravansary is one of 999 Iranian Caravansaries built by Shah Abbas I in 1603 AD that was located in Aran Va Bidgol desert, near its Salt Lake. It was a significant stopover and a place for rest and recover after a daily’s Journey for passengers of Silk Road who used this route for trading between different parts of Asia especially China, North Africa, and South-Eastern Europe.
Typically, most of traditional Caravansaries had been guarded by a trench scout and 500 armed guards who held responsible for Caravansaries’ security and safe passage of goods from China to Europe and vice versa. Subterranean springs creates fresh water in which just like a miracle on the heart the salty desert.
9 . The stunning village of Abyaneh
Abyaneh village, also known “red village” is one the best preserved villages in Iran dating back hundred years ago in which situated around 80 Km south of Kashan along the slopes of Karkas (Vulture) Mount. An Abyanki woman typically wears a white long scarf covering the shoulders and upper trunk with colorful pattern and an upper-knee skirt while wearing colored flared trousers. The dialect of Abyanki people is classified into Middle Persian language, the language of Sasanian Persia.
Jame’ mosque with its historical wooden style dating back to 1374 AD, the very old fire temple belong to Abyanki ancient Zoroastrians, and two mausoleum belonged to offspring’s of Imam Kazem, the seventh Imam of Shia are the other spectacular parts of Abyaneh.
April and May are the best time to visit this stunning village, which is the time of Rose-watering.
10 . Niasar Village
Niasar is a small village with full of gardens located 28 Km west of Kashan that its popularity owe to flower-water festival taking place each year in May. Many people in different parts of the world as well as different parts of Iran get together to visit this exiting festival.
Niasar fire temple is one of historical sites in the amazing village located in the highest point and over a rocky hill, which has been made of stones bonded with mortar, however, the main parts of it had been collapsed many years ago.
Niasar cave is a man-made cave for the purpose of worship and like all Mitra (goddess of sun and kindest) caves in the ancient era had been built in full darkness, while signs of water erosion on the rocks proved that the cave had a picturesque area since time immemorial.
A few meters down to the Niasar fire temple, a clean and cool spring flows through the village, considered as the most known earliest springs and located at the beginning of the historical part of this area. Niasar waterfall is an eye-catching place surrounded by beautiful lush tress such as willows, elms, junipers, ash, berries, figs and vines.