Kashan, the City of Architectural Treasures
The historical county of Kashan whose center is a city of the same name, is located in Isfahan Province.
This region is the second largest and most populous city of Isfahan which once was the trade center among Isfahan Cities, Yazd and Tehran. Moreover, it was one of the most important industrial cities of Iran in the Qajar era due to its numerous factories and industrial prosperity. This area was once first rate in textiles industry and the largest producer of textiles in the Qajar era. On the other hand, this city is the center of Iran's brocade weaving.
This city has a history of urbanization and civilization dating back to over 8000 years ago. However, the tools found from the Paleolithic indicate a longer history of human habitation in this area. Original Iranian architecture has also been involved in the construction of its buildings. The historical monuments of Kashan were formed during the Seljuk and Safavid era.
Above all is preservation of the traditional structure of the city, which reflects the culture of its indigenous people. Houses and buildings built in the city are important tourist attractions today. Actually, the special architecture of these buildings are the most amazing part of this city. Today, several historical buildings have been converted into traditional hotels.
These hotels, which are top-rated of their kind, are very appropriate accommodations in the historical city of Kashan.
The beautiful old bazaar of Kashan, considered as one of the most significant buildings of Iranian architecture, was built in the Seljuk era. (We will deal with it in detail in the following)
This city is so important that it once was one of the main destinations for the princes. On top of this is a tomb near the bazaar, located in shrines, where the body of Shah Abbas is said to be buried. This fact also proves the importance of this point of Iran in different eras.
The Best Time to Travel to Kashan
Kashan, e hot and dry climate, includes both mountainous and desert area due to being located between the Karkas Mountains and Dasht-e Kavir (the central desert of Iran).
Certainly, the mountainous area is milder than the desert parts. Therefore, the best time to visit Kashan is late autumn to mid-winter.
However, the spring of Kashan displays the most beautiful manifestation of this city so that it is worth tolerating its hot weather.
One of the most popular spring events is rose distillation ceremony held from early May to early June. This ceremony is usually held in the cities of Ghamsar and Niasar, but the center of roses is Ghamsar.
Every year, the city hosts spectators from all over the world.
Kashan Agha Bozorg Mosque and School, an Example of Merging Two Buildings
Agha Bozorg Mosque is one of the most beautiful Qajar-era mosques dating back to the 18th century.
The construction of the building was finished at the same time as the coronation of Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar. This synchronicity has been recorded on the inscriptions of the mosque. Merging the prayer hall with Agha Bozorg Mosque and school demonstrates one of the best examples of combining two buildings in Iranian architecture.
Agha Bozorg School Architecture
Agha Bozorg Mosque and School is a beautiful collection of architectural elements, decorations and a combination of intertwined figures.
The construction features portal, vestibule, central courtyard and prayer hall. In addition, this school includes a garden and wind catchers considered as architectural elements of the desert climate. Tile work, brickwork, exquisite gypsum inscriptions, moccasins, calligraphy and painting decorations are other features of this building.
Agha Bozorg Mosque Architecture
Agha Bozorg Mosque features a beautiful portal whose roof is decorated with plasterworks and paintings.
The dome of this mosque is built on eight large pedestal, which is rarely noticed in older mosques. The placement of the dome on free pillars let cool air flow in the doom space in the summer. The garden, situated in the lower courtyard, and a large pond in the yard bring about the visual beauty as well as cool weather.
The vestibules, corridors, minarets and two wind catchers are the items applied in the structure of Agha Bozorg Mosque and School.
The courtyard of Agha Bozorg Mosque includes two stories.
On the second floor, where the students live, there are rooms around. Another attraction of this building is the inscriptions, known as tax inscriptions, on the entrance. Actually, the order of tax exemption of the mosque, issued by Mohammad Shah Qajar, is written on the inscriptions.
Amin od-dowleh, a Representative of the Original Iranian Architecture
Amin od-dowleh is one of the landmarks representing Iranian architecture. What makes it different is its special geometric tile and brick decorations, especially in Timcheh roof and its arch.
The Timcheh (1863 to 167) was constructed during the Qajar era in Kashan Bazaar.
Amin od-dowleh is the result of reconstructing Kashan Bazar after the 19th-century earthquake in the Qajar era.
Amin od-dowleh is a traditional shopping center, located in the chaharsooq of Mianchal Bazaar. It is a high three-story construction consisting of a roofed space and wide opening.
Timcheh Amin od-dowleh, featuring two large wooden doors, leads to the market
One door leads from chaharsooq to a small octagonal sahn and the other one leads to the southern large rectangular shan.
According to specialists, this complex is one of the best masterpieces of original Iranian architecture in the 19th century. This precious monument was registered on Iran National Heritage List in 1974.
As a result, Amin od-dowleh is one of our main destinations in this city.
The Global Fame of Amin od-dowleh
Diolafoy, the French archeologist and explorer, describes Timcheh Amin od-dowleh in her travelogue in this way: “one of the best trade centers in Kashan is the new trade center built by merchants.
This brick construction, shaped like a prism, comprises an entrance door on either side and offers you a beautiful view. On the other hand, you can find three large holes on the roof illuminating the area. This magnificent building is full of precious commercial goods. As a result, it demonstrates the commercial importance and development of the city.”
Kashan, the Historical Destination of Iran’s Tourists
In the middle of the road from Isfahan to Tehran or vice versa, visiting the city of Kashan is inevitable.
Visiting the valuable historical monuments of the city, including its historical bazaar, is an unforgettable experience. To view the tours that include this city, just click here.
1001 Nights Tours offers diverse tours for your trip to Iran, which include Kashan. Even if you don’t take the chance to spend overnight in the city, you will take a visit to the monuments for sure. To view and read more about these buildings, click here.