City of Kashan
When most people hear the term “Desert”, a visual of dry land, scorching heat, and scarcity often comes to mind. While in some places this image is mostly accurate, the city of Kashan is anything but. It lies amongst the central deserts in Iran, and is one of the first riveting destinations along the Qom-Kerman road. Kashan is not a common tourist attraction, but its hidden charm is something to be experienced. Traveling the city has previously been described as, “chasing shadows in light.” While you can take what you want from this statement, it is naturally depicted because of the structure of the city. The numerous tunnels and architecture that engross this distinctive area in Iran are composed of unbaked mud brick, creating a sense of uniqueness all on their own.
A significant part of the city is the Bazaar, which is located in the center. The Bazaar is most popular for its architecture, especially at its Timche-ye-Amin od-Dowleh section, where you can see an intricate designs constructed into the ceiling. When you walk through the Dome it is almost as if you would be experiencing night and day at the same time. There are many dark twists and turns that create a cavern-like feel, while other areas have rays of light shining through the ceiling’s trenches. The Bazaar is known for its peaceful atmosphere.
“The bazaar is one of the most beautiful and authentic in all of Iran – a series of interconnected passages and covered domes, perfect for endless wandering. Shafts of sunlight entered through geometric skylights at the center of each vault, creating a smoky haze in front of a bakery where thin slabs of bread were being baked on a bed of small pebbles in a domed oven. The air was heavy with the scent of spices mingling with rose water and dried apricots.” – Marian Reid
Also located in Kashran is a historical Persian garden that is not only known for its breathtaking scenery, but for its rich history as well. In 1852 the Qajarid chancellor, Amir Kabir, was murdered by an assassin who was sent by King Nasereddin Shah. The tragedy took place at the Fin Bath, making it known worldwide. The Garden is the oldest in all of Iran, and was the subject of neglect for many years until it was claimed as national property of Iran. Although the layout of the garden is divine, the beautifully decorated buildings engulfing it give it the sense of character that sets it apart.
Boroujerdi ha Residence
Many of the popular attractions that are visited in Kashan are houses that were built for families of great wealth, and have been around for centuries. While they are referred to as houses, they are probably not what you would expect at first thought. If you can envision a castle-like fortification filled with exquisite architecture and pieces of art, exemplified by magnificent courtyards, you most likely have a more fitting image in mind. The Boroujerdi Residence itself was home to a trading family who migrated to Kashran. The official construction of the palace was completed over a 100 years ago, and took 18 years to complete. These lengthy periods of construction time were common for many of the older buildings, as the details of them were, and are still, highly valued.
While these are some of the main attractions Kashan has to offer, there are many other fascinating sights to explore, as well as cities with their own individual landmarks. If only we could see them all.