Travel to Iran

Day 9 Kerman - Mahan - Rayen - Bam - Estahban

(in 38 km.) Mahan: The Shazdeh Garden, which means Prince's Garden, is located on the outskirts of Mahan. Along with other gardens of Iran, was inscribed in 2011 in the list of World Heritage Sites of Unesco under the common denomination of The Persian Garden. The garden, built by Abdolhamid Mirza Naserodollehand at the end of the 19th century, consists of an entrance door at its lower end and a residential building with two floors at the upper end. The space between the two ends is decorated with water sources that work thanks to the natural inclination of the land, as well as different tree species.

XXX

Shahzadeh garden

(in 67 km.) Rayen: The citadel of Rayen (Arg-e Rayen) is an adobe castle located at the foot of Mount Hazar, 4501 meters above sea level. The castle of Rayen was inhabited until 150 years ago and, although it is known that it is more than 1000 years old, it is believed that it could be founded in the pre-Islamic era of the Sassanians. After taking the first photos from outside to its walls and the moat, we entered the citadel. In the part closest to the entrance was the bazaar, because it was the place where the caravans stopped to trade. The citadel has 12 towers in very good condition.

Arg-e Rayen (Rayen castle)

Arg-e Rayen (Rayen castle)

The citadel was divided into three main parts. The first, besides the bazaar, had the stables, the barn, the mosque, etc. In this part of the city, normal people lived. To the right, separated by an interior wall, were the houses where the soldiers and administrators of the castle resided. Finally, on the oposite side of the entrance and protected by a second wall, was the governor's residence. Inside the residence of the governor stand out the views over the citadel that we had from its towers. It is worth to turn aside to visit the citadel of Rayen, which although much smaller than Bam's, is much better preserved after the destruction suffered by the latter due to the earthquake of 2003.

Arg-e Rayen (Rayen castle)

Arg-e Rayen (Rayen castle)

(in 134 km.) Bam: Bam is located on the southern edge of the Iranian altiplane, at 1,060 meters above sea level in the center of the valley dominated to the north by the Kafut mountains and to the south by the Jebal-e Barez mountains. When you enter the citadel you are impressed by the construction itself and at the same time saddened to see all the ruins caused by the 2003 earthquake and by all the people who died. An earthquake of 6.2 degrees on the Richter scale ravaged the area, leaving the city and the citadel of Arg-é Bam (the largest adobe structure in the world) in ruins and killing 40,000 people. The city of Bam and its cultural landscape was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2004.

Arg-e Bam (Bam citadel)

Arg-e Bam (Bam citadel)

The origins of the citadel of Bam (Arg-e Bam) date back to the Achaemenid period (6th to 4th centuries BC) and even beyond. The heyday of the citadel was from the seventh to the eleventh century, being at the crossroads of important trade routes and known for the production of silk and cotton garments. The citadel, which contains the governor's neighborhoods and the fortified residential area, constitutes the central focus of a vast cultural landscape, which is marked by a series of forts and citadels, now in ruins. Arg-e Bam is the most representative example of a fortified medieval city built in the vernacular technique using layers of mud (Chineh), sun-dried mud bricks (khesht) and vaulted and domed structures.

Arg-e Bam (Bam citadel)

Arg-e Bam (Bam citadel)

The architectural concept of the Bam Citadel has three clearly distinguishable parts: the wall between 6 to 7 meters high and 1,815 meters long, the area of the town surrounding the area of the governors, consisting of the main entrance to the city-fortress and a bazaar along the main axis that connects the main entrance with the citadel and around 400 houses with their respective public buildings, and finally the zone of the governors behind their inner wall that contains the citadel; the barracks, the mill, a house for the four seasons, a water well (dug in the rocky terrain and with a depth of 40 m), and a stable for 200 horses.

(in 190 km.) Kerman: We arrived to the city and we said goodbye to Amir, who has been our guide for the last three days. I can only think of words of thanks when I think in Amir, who has helped us to discovered the desert of Lut and the Kaluts.

(in 395 km.) Estahban: Although initially we were going to sleep in Kerman, we decided to continue until Estahban with the objective of save kilometers for the following day and leaving enough free time to visit Persepolis.