Kashan — the cradle of Sialk civilization- is a beautiful traditional city with a lot of things to do. The Kashan city is a fine desert city, an enchanting land with original customs, traditions and beautiful nature that is surrounded by Kavir (desert) from west and is next to the high mounts from west and south. Accompany us in a lovely tour of Kashan to experience this magnificent of city in greater details.
Tour of Kashan, Maranjab Desert Tour
With our professional and experienced guide, we hit the road from Tehran in the morning to Kashan. To have a traditional Iranian breakfast, we stop on the road
To visit the first Kashan highlight on our tour of Kashan, when we arrive to Kashan city and go to Fin Garden which is an excellent historical Persian garden situated in the south part of Kashan. Things we will visit a rampart, Safavid Shotor Galoo (subterranean siphon), a gate tower, small bath, royal bath, Karim-Khani personal building, royal sitting and room and museum.
After visiting these, we will visit historic and traditional houses such as Boroojerdiha house. This point of interest in Kashan sits gloriously in Sultan Amir Ahmad district of Kashan on Alavi street. This Kashan sight was built by Haj Seyed Hassan Natanzi who was a man business and of great fame in in about 1257 (1858), during Qajar dynasty.
After that we will visit House of the Ameri (Ameriha House) and Sultan-Mir-Ahmad Hammam, Agha Bozorg Mosque which is remained from Qajar period in 19th century.
Cities, Towns and Villages Surrounding Kashan City
What we call cultural region in our articles concerning Kashan City consists of Kashan, Aran and Bidgol, Nasin, Ardestan, Golpayegan Natanz and Khansar that originally are extensions of Sialk civilization.
The long history of Kashan City
The name of Khashi and Khashani come from the name of Kashi and Kashian tribe that lived in western part of Iran plateau in the middle of the second millennium before the birth of Christ, according to professor Grishman. This city is one of the richest regions in Iran from the point of the beautiful, genuineness and culture that has been created the oldest civilization of Iran country in this region. A great part of the glorious Sialk civilization some time has been destroyed due to e war and rebellion during the 7000 years old history, again came out from its ashes, like the fabulous bird- Phoenix- because the philosophy of its life is survival and distinctive origin, because Kashan as the cradle of Sialk civilization, is the city came up from the head of Kavir, talent, architecture, custom, emotion, beliefs and the birth place of great persons such as Sohrab Sepehri, Mohtasham Kashani, Feyze Kashani, Nezame Vefa Arani, Azimi Arani and Sobahi Bidgoli. In short, Kashan-the cradle of Sialk civilization has been one of the pioneers of Iranian civilization in the past and present, this has been always mixed with education.
Tappeh Silak (Sialk Hill)
Sialk Ancient Hills in Kashan
These hills are at the distance of 3km Southeast of Kashan archaeology researches reveals these hills are one of the first civilization centers and settlement of prehistoric humans. Silak consists of a northern and southern hill 500m apart. There are some prehistoric cemeteries in front of these hills. According to professor Grishman’s research (1311 Solar Hejira, 1933 A.D) civilization of this region and the archeological findings date back to 5000 and 1000 BC. Some antiquities from these hills are stored at louver museums in France. Iran National Museum and Finn Garden.
Dorre Village in Kashan
Dorre village is at the distance of 10km from the south-west of Kashan city and 1550 meters above the sea level. This village is 4300000 m2 in area. The origin of the meaning of Dorre is Dor that means pear and it shows its unique and valuable nature. This touristy recreational village is located in mountainous zone in mount Karkas in 10km from Finn Garden and has matchless attractions for tourists and the funds of environment.
One of sacred places for some of the people in Kashan is the pilgrimage of Shahzadeh Ebrahim one of grandchildren of Imam Musa Kazem (PBUH). This mausoleum is located in the path of Amirkabir Street near of Finn Garden. The first construction of this mausoleum has generated in the second half of 79th century A C by competency of one of the domiciled in Finn called Khaleh Baygum. The valuable painting of this mausoleum is one of the works of Abdolrahim Zarrabv Kashani. This mausoleum is very visiting in tailings and paintings.
Niasar-Old Iranian Garden Town
Niasar at the distance of 35km from northwest of Kashan, in Karkas mountains. Ardeshir I was the Niasar thunder. This historic city is famous in the world because of voluble historic attractions such as Chartagi, Eskandareeye spring, (one of the oldest springs in Iran that is 1680 m above the sea level), Talar garden (built in Safavid Dynasty) and Niasar cave (from Parthian era). The upper district of city is called Talar and the down district called Darab by villagers.
Niyasar- Chartaghi (Quadric Arcs)
Niyasar Chartaghi is the historic building from the late of Ashkanian period or the beginning of Sassanid era. This building is one of the largest and oldest Chartag in Iran that is left undamaged. The calendar computations in this Chartaghi are matchless in comparison with other sun calendars, in the beginning and the middle of each season the morning sunlight uniquely shines from special angle among the pillars in this building. Niasar Chartaghi is the attractive place for fond of astronomy in Iran. This building was never used as the fire temple.
Garden stream – Niasar
Natural Situation of Niasar Niasar town is one of three centers of rose flower, water flower and plant distillate in Kashan- Iran. This unique feature is the result of Niasar location on the eastern foothills of mount Karkas and the existence of Eskandarie full water spring and many ganats. 800 Hectares of Niaser area is planted and this area is extremely expandable using the modern watering methods and planting. Niasar town is about 1650 m above sea level. There is very beautiful and unique view from different points of town and around it due to height difference up to 200m. Some natural features in this town include: beautiful catchment area, running water fall in all the seasons, shedding leaves and foggy water and pleasing fall, green ground and growing the clematis and ranunculus that are beside the Niasar beautiful waterfall and attracts all of Iranians.
Aqa Bozorg Mosque and School in Kashan
This Mosque is from the Qajar period. Hajj Mohammad Taqi Khanban funded for its construction between the wars (1834-1844 A.D); for holding group payers and classes of his son in-law Molla Mandi Naraqi who was the second brother of Ahmad Araqi, known as Aqa Bozorg. The architect and builder of this building was Hajj Shaban. The entire building is completely made of brick. The dome is one of the greatest brick domes. The craftsmanship include tile setting, brick lying, valuable plaster and tile inscriptions, arched decorated with paintings. Cursive writing, calligraphy and paintings of the school are works of Mohammad Baciar Qamsari. The remaining calligraphy of the mosque is by great calligraphers of Kashan such as: Mohammad Ebrahim, Moham-mad Hossein and Seyyed Sadeq Kashani.
The stone daises were built on the both sides of the mosque entrance and the historic tile inscription was hung above the building in 1248L.H. The entrance of mosque decorated with stalactite, plasterwork and tile. Aqa Bozorg mosque includes 12 chambers in 3 sides of courtyard, a large classroom with 2 lateral hallways in the southern front and a large cellar as the summer classroom in the north. Aqa Bozorg mosque is matchless in architectural style and formation and has a special elegance and symmetry.
The entrant e door of the Aqa Bozorg Mosque
Isfahan-The gate’s knocker of Aqa Bozorg Mosque
The knocker is a piece of metal on the outside door that used to knock loudly. Knockers play important role in social communications. They are in the shape of ring or hammer and different pitches in knocking show the different genders: the women used the high- pitched voice knocker and, the men used low-pitched voice one, so the people in the house recognized the person’s gender on the other side of the door. The knockers were decorated with simple or the most beautiful carved design. The gate’s knocker of Aqa Bozorg Mosque is the most attractive one.
Aga Bozorg School
This school is like other buildings in hot and dry region and has 4 verandas. The large dome and two minarets decorated with tile setting are today the highest construe-lion in Kashan historic city; this school includes court-yard, green space, chambers for scholars and summer prayer area. Western and eastern verandas and its bricking and tile setting are remainder of the four sides and its importance for people. The tombs of ancient founders are in the western veranda. The inscription of poems with the name of its poet d date-1268-was hung on the tile of transom. The name of founder was written on this inscription too.
Tile Setting in Kashan
Kashan has been the capital of tile setting and ceramic from 5th century to 11th century- All kinds of golden, azure and turquoise colored ceramic dishes and decorative things were made in this city in 5th and 6th centuries. The setting industry is the full form of the ceramics and used to decorate and cover the buildings, this craftsman-ship was established and made huge progress in Kashan, so that, these productions were exported to other cities. Tile is called Kashi in Persian that means from Kashan. The golden and raised design tiles and inscriptions of big attars made in Kashan, was very well- known in the world. The tile setting of Aqa Bozorg Mosques walls and altar is a good example of this craftsmanship.
Kashan-Finn Garden Historic Bathhouse
We will surely visit this Kashan highlight in our tour of Kashan. Public and big bathhouse of Kashan is unique from the viewpoint of architectural design and fantastic features. One of these bathhouses was built in Finn Garden in during Shah Abbas I. This bathhouse has several interconnected courtyards with different temperatures and khazineh (heated reservoir) is full of hot, moderate and cold water so everyone can use it in the according to his own taste. This bathhouse is famous because. Amir Kabir was killed by the order of Naseradin Shah in Finn Garden in 1268 L.H. Amir Kabir sculpture in this bathhouse recalls that tragic event.
Tomb of Sohrab Sepehri
Sohrab Sepehri, painter and poet of Kashan was born on Mehr 15 in 1370. He finished elementary school in his town house at the same time, he had talent in painting and calligraphy. He was employed in Educational center in 1325 and resigned after 2 years. In that year he was employed in Tehran oil company and began his educations in Fine Arts College of Tehran University. He published his first collection of poems called Marge Rang (the death of color) in 1330. Sohrab was a skillful and friendly, calm and without any tumult and outburst and never liked the fame. He traveled to different countries to be familiar with their cultures and philosophy and obtained a lot of valuable experiences. His collection of poems, Hasht Behesht (eight paradises), have been published several times in Iran and translated to some languages. Sohrab died on leukemia on the first day of Ordibehesht in 1350 in Pars hospital in Tehran and was buried in Mashhad Ardehal.
Golpayegan- Googed Fort
Golpayegan city is 1945 m2 in area, located in west of Isfahan. Golpayegan is the old city of Iran and it dates back to more than 5000 years ago. This city has many natural and historic attractions such as: Jameh mosque, Qazi Bridge, four-direction Bazaar and Minaret and Googed fort. Googed historic fort is the second sun-dried brick and muddy building that was used as caravansary and castle in proportion to different features. Its archaeological antiquity is about 4000 years. Today this fort is the touristy residence for many visitors.
The- word of Khansar consists of 2 parts: Khan means spring and Sar is the suffix for abundance, this shows that there are many springs. The existence of 4500 springs in this region is the indicator of above mentioned fact. One of touristy attractions of Khansar is Golestankooh. This field is one of the most beautiful natural recreational places in Isfahan province that is covered by hundreds kinds of medical plants such as reverse tulip, wild onion and shallot. This beautiful field will bloom from the middle of Farvardin to the middle of Khordad (in spring) each year.
Qamsar, Rose Bride
If you are lucky enough, you might be able to visit such event in your tour of Kashan. Qamsar-The process of extracting rose water The best rose water has been made in Qamsar. Qamsar is at the distance of 36 km from Kashan. Although Qamsar is small town, it is more famous than some big cities in Iran. The process of extracting rose water is done in Qamsar in the middle of the spring to the beginning of summer. Rose water in Qamsar is well-known in the world, and Kaaba has been washed with Qamsar rose water every year. There are several big workshops in Qamsar and Kashan to extract the essence that export it to other countries such as Italy and France to make at.
Qazean village in Kashan City
Qazean village is at the distance of 1 km south of Qamsar town and 37km south of Kashan city. This village is Kashan environ. Qazean village is called Kajgan too, that means silk worm keeping. This village belongs to at least 1000 years old, according to Sayyed Abol Reza Ravandi. This famous poet has composed an ode about Malek Seljuk EbN Mohammad Ebn-e Malek Shah’s campaign in region. He has mentioned Qazean in his ode. Some visible features of village include view of foothills of mount Karkas covered with colorful wild flowers growing on the rocks, gardens, earthen dam Qazean, in addition to these attractions, different flowers and water flowers make pleasant touristy place.
Social and Economical Features of Gazean
The first population of this village was Gebers (Zoroastrian) and tribes of Bakhtiar known as Elkhan, Elchi families have still lived there. 4550 people live in Gazean; this village is one of the active ones in agriculture. Its main products include plum, walnut, almond, and sour cherry, apricot and rose flower. Some of people’s cultural features in this village are: re-citing a morality play, Nakhl Caning, Novrooz, the Yalda night (the first night of the winter) and Eyde Esfandi (the first day of the last month of the year). A cave known as Chah Diev (Demon’s well) through the stones of black farm, with untold mysteries is one of the natural attractive wonders in Gazean village.
Aran and Bidgol Twon
You might want to visit this place in your tour of Kashan. Aran and Bidgol town with 4 distinct (Aran and Bidgol, Nooshabad, Abuzeydabad and Sefidshahr) is located in the north of Isfahan. This town is one of the oldest human settlement and dates back to Sialk civilization (about 9000 years ago). Aran and Bidgol town is 6km north of Kashan, margin of the central Kavir of Iran. This town itself consists two old towns: Aran and Bidgol. Sharden, Franch famous tourist, traveled to Iran during the Safavid dynasty and visited Aran and Bidgol and wrote about this town in his diary ” there are 2000 houses and 600pretty gardens in Aran and Bidgol, and 1000 silk workers work there”.
Wrapper weaving handicraft
Wrapper weaving Wrapper weaving is a traditional handicraft in Iran that dates back to 1000 years ago, it is the old handicraft in Aran and Bidgol city. wrapper is of natural cotton and its weaver can weave 40cm daily. wrappers are used for clothe, tablecloth, bed clothe and … One of the skillful wrapper weavers in Iran is Mansur Motshakker from Aran.
Wrapper weaving is a traditional handicraft in Iran that dates back to 1000 years ago, it is the old handicraft in Aran and Bidgol city. wrapper is of natural cotton and its weaver can weave 40cm daily. wrappers are used for clothe, tablecloth, bed clothe and … One of the skillful wrapper weavers in Iran is Mansur Motshakker from Aran.
Halal Ebn All Shrine
The magnificent Pilgrimage of Emamzadeh Mohamma Halal Ebn Ali (PBUH), is architecturally strongly glorious: transom and high entrance hall, extended courtyard with beautiful practice and string course, verandas decorated with marvelous implementations of Islamic design, the big dome and several tiled minarets. This holy and touristy building is one of the most attractive places in this region because of these matchless architectural feature! This shrine date backs to before Safavid period. The mirrors ceiling in harem were completed by the order of Karim Khan Zand.
The dome minarets of Halal Ebn All Shrine
The most prominent Symbol of Mohammad Halal Shrine — immediate Emam Ali’s son- is radish shaped dome decorated with 7 colored tiles that are visible from away. There are 10 minarets in Mohammad Halal complex; two high minarets are located on both sides of southern veranda. The construction of these minarets is like a dome and includes two layer plasters, brick and tile setting. The Minarets and dome construction is matchless, according to the architects.
Aran and Bidgol- Maranjab caravansary
This caravansary in Kashan was built by order of Shah Abbas I in Safavid Period (1012 L.H). This brick made building is at the distance of 50km from north of Aran and Bidgol next to the Salt Lake, this region called Maranjab. This well-equipped caravansary is located in the historic silk way, so it was comfortable resting place for business caravans and Mashhad pilgrims. Several ganats (subterranean canal) was dug near the caravansary to provide water for the passengers, these ganats have been used yet. Maranjab caravansary has a romantic and beautiful view of Kavir and nature. Salt Lake near the Maranjab caravansary is one of the matchless touristic attractions of Iran.
Aran and Bidgol Salt Lake
One of the unique natural attraction in Iran is Aran and Bidgol Salt Lake. This lake is 2500 km2 in area and is located among Este-ban, Semnan and Qom. The best and easiest way to reach and exploit this lake is through Aran and Bidgol town. Especially Maranjab historic caravansary as a suitable residence is next to it. This lake has been exploited for providing table salt from past (it is removed easily without any special processes from the surface of the lake). However, polygons formed in it that are made naturally and as white as snow to the height of 20 cm from Salt crystals, embodies romantic and attractive view in the eyes of visitors. It’s interesting to know that in some years a group of migratory flamingo bivouac in this lake at the beginning of fall that doubles its beauty. Yearly racing on the lake’s surface s another unique attraction of Kashan Salt Lake,
Tabatabaie Historic complex in Kashan
Seyyed Mohammad Taghi Tabatabaie and his family migrated from Zavare to Aran and Bidgol in the late of 10th century and settled in the sourth of Darb Mokhtas Abad district. Tabatabaie historic complex is 4 Hectars in area and includes houses, bathhouse, mosque, water reservoir, sacred shrine and alley, this complex dates back to Safavid Dynasty and was repaired in other periods. Banitaba historic House is located in this complex. Architecture of this construction is yard- centered (building was built around the yard and garden), but changed very much during the past periods. Hajj Aqa Shahab Banitaba established a weaving workshop in this house; the complex was one of the important centers of weaving in Qajar dynasty. Tabatabaie Historic complex has been repairing recently.
Ardestan- Jameh Mosque
Ardestan city is located on the way of Kashan- Nain —Yazd, and also in the northeast of Esfehan and the south of Kavir. This city is 14260km2 in area. The touristy attractions of this city include Mehr Ardeshir fire temple, Jameh Mosque, Emam Hasan (BRTH) mosque, Zavare Jameh Mosque and Benkooye mosque minaret. Ardestan Jameh Mosque is one of the oldest mosques known as four- veranda of Seljuk period. Founder of this mosque is Abu Taher Hossin. Best regard to him.
Natanz Hanjan Fortress
Hanjan Castle in the past, because of special geographical situation that is located between 2 thriving plains called Beynonahreyn and Panjab of Send in India, various tribes and nations had to pass Iran country to arrive the west and east countries, so it was under attention and attack specially from the east and northeast. Living in these insecure regions made Iranian to build castle, fort and fortification. One of these castles is Hanjan castle located in Natanz way to Abyaneh that has been inhabited yet. This castle has very huge and thick fortification. There are winding alleys in it, all of them connected to the main way of the castle that leads to the castle’s gate. Houses are two levels; the down stair is used for keeping live-stock or food, and kitchen. Sitting rooms are on second floor. Hanjan castle is over a hill looks out on Hanjan village.
Natanz- Badrooci — Emamzadeh Ma Ali Abbas shrine
Emamzadeh Aga Ali Abbas Shrine —one of grand children of Imam Musabn Jafar (PBUH) is at the distance of 35km from northeast of Natanz. The veranda is decorated with plaster works of pigeon and peacock. This magnificent sacred place is respected by region people. The dome and courtyard of this pilgrimage were constructed by Ostad Sayyed Jafar’ Rashtiyan —the great miniaturist of Iran.
Yazdel- Bibi Zeynab Shrine
Bibi Zeynab shrine is the beautiful touristic and holy place along the Kavir in Yazdel village. Some visible architectural features include: tiled transom, octangular entrance vestibule, dome, minarets and veranda, expanded and pleasant courtyard decorated with artistic painting and specific architecture. This architecture fits into the Kavir region and is among the attractive pilgrimage places.
Nooshabad- Jameh Mosque
This Jameh Mosque dates back to Seljuk dynasty, its painting minaret was made of brick, and a verse-Alemo Endallah (the wisdom is with God) from the Koran-is written repeatedly on the minaret by cursive writing. This mosque has two magnificent northern and sourthern verandas, and a big Shabestan decorate with traditional practice. This mosque was expanded greatly during Safavid period and has been repaired recently in cooperation with the Cultural Heritage Institute and local people.
Sardar Kashi Fort – Abuzaid Abad
Aran and Bidgol- Abuzeydabad Karshahi Fort
Karshahi big defending fort is one of the visible attractions in Kavir desert. This strong building was made of mud and sun- dried brick. This old fort is at the distance of 22km from northeast of Abuzeydabad, near Aga Ali Abbas holy shrine. The ganats — dug around the fort —are still useable. This fort was the military base of Nayeb Hossein Kashani (a famous rebel lived near the end of Qajar period) for long times.
Badgir (wind catcher) and water reservoir of Sare kuche Yakhchal
Historic water reservoir in Sar Kooche Yakhhal This old and beautiful water reservoir is located in Sar Kooche Yakhchal district. At the present it has 2 entrances that the second one was constructed about 40 years ago. The water reservoir dates back to Qatar dynasty, its ceiling has 4 domes shaped arches and there is an inscription on transom includes quatrains decorated with 7 colored tiles.
Aqa Shahab Historic Water Reservoirs
This water reservoir was built Mirza Masom Tabatayi in 1089 H.L in Darb Mokhtas Abad district- Bidgol that belongs to 200 years ago. The water reservoir is located in a round with an area of 400m and its square footage is 35m2.
Aqa Shahab water reservoir has 4 Badgirs (wind catcher) that 2 of them are next to the neighbor archway. This water reservoir is the largest one in Aran and Bidgol.
Eftekhar-e Eslam Historic House
This is one of the well-known and beautiful houses in Darbend old district. This building is very important and valuable house in Aran and Bidgol. It dates back to Qajar period and Parliamentary time and its name is an adoption of its former owner- Path Ali Khan Sadr Arani and Ayatollah Aga Hossein Darbandi known Eftekhar-ol- Eslam, who was cleric and well known calligraphist in Aran and Bidgol. The architectural style in this house is ditch garden and yard- centered, and consists of outer and inner parts that the main connective way between house and Darband square is through the outer part. This building is in 2 floors just in the north. The main gate is located in south-ern front and connected to the house through fine vestibule and hallway.
Historic Eyn-o-Rashid caravansary was built in Kavir national park at the distance of 2km from Bahram palace, during Safavid dynasty. A collapsed water reservoir is next to this brick- made caravansary . Eyn-o-Rashid spring is located in the adjacent hill that is used by local animals such as deer and wild goat. This building was built by the order of Shah Abbas Safavid, at the distance of 60km from Maranjab caravansary ; Eyn-o-Rashid caravansary includes 22 chambers and 4 semicircular towers.
Bahram Palace Karavansara
This square caravansary dates back to Safavid period and it is made of high walls with 4 semicircular towers. Bahram palace was built on Esfehan- Khorasan- Mazandaran three way joint by the order of Shah Abbas Safa-vid. Drinking water in this caravansary has been transfer through the stone white canal from Siyah (black) spring at the distance of 7/5 km from it. This building is located in the way of caravans on the silk road (Maranjab- Bahram Palace-Deh Namak) in the northeast of the great salk lake and on the foothills of Siyahkooh. This caravanserai was built of stone and has 2 royal sitting rooms, 22 rooms around it, 4 round tower, 4verandas, one central yard, a half – tower and stable behind the rooms. Bahram palace caravanserai is located at the distance of 62 km from Maranjab caravanserai in Kavir national park.
The historic construction of Narin castle is considered as one of the oldest known historic sites of Nain city. This castle was constructed in the Parthian era, before Islam. Nain city has been expanded around the castle during next eras. Today it is located in the center of the city. Estakhri was visited this 3000 steps estate and has written about it in his work.
A moat was dug around it in the past that was 50m deep from the bottom of moat to the top of the building. This 4.5 complex was constructed in the shape of a polygon with several towers in corners. The sun-dried bricks in dimensions of 43×43 to 22x22cm were used in its construction, this shows different phases in the castle building and expansion. It is said this building is used even until Qajar dynasty.
The main part of Nain is Kavir that is one of the most beautiful natural attractions in this city. Ashurgah or Mohammadiye castle creates a fine and beautiful view in front of visitors’ eyes. This castle is one of the most well- known buildings in Nain that is located in top of a mount, looking out on the beautiful Mohammadiye district. Ashurgah is almost visible on all places in Moham-madiye and the road from Naiin to Anarak. As soon as you arrive in this region, Mohammadiye castle is the first building that is visible. It was used as defensive castle because of strategic situation. The castle has thick walls and foundations in such a way that they form half part of building. Unfortunately, nothing is left from this huge castle but sun-dried walls and remnants.