Handicrafts

Underground city added to the national heritage list

TEHRAN – The underground city of Sefidshahr, along with six other properties in Isfahan province, have recently been inscribed on the national heritage list.

The Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts announced the inscriptions on Saturday in separate letters addressed to the governor general of the central province, CHTN reported.

Khajeh Naein, Tehranchi and Prvaresh mansions as well as Yavari Castle, Ahmad Khan Garden and Sefidshahr Crypt have also been added to the prestigious list.

These underground cities that can be found in almost every corner of the country are a special type of cave architecture. Residents are said to be digging underground chambers as hiding places for women, children and the elderly to deal with infrequent attacks from foreign invaders.

Steeped in a rich history and culture, Isfahan was once a crossroads of international trade and diplomacy in Iran. Today, it’s one of Iran’s top tourist destinations for good reason. The ancient city is full of many architectural wonders such as unparalleled Islamic buildings, bazaars, museums, Persian gardens and tree-lined boulevards. It is a city for walking, getting lost in its frenzied bazaars, dozing in beautiful gardens and meeting people.

Isfahan is famous not only for the abundance of its great historic bridges, but also for its “life-giving river”, the Zayandeh-Rood, which has long given the city an original beauty and fertility. The cool blue tiles of Isfahan’s Islamic buildings and the city’s majestic bridges contrast perfectly with the hot, dry Iranian countryside that surrounds it.

The immense Imam Square, better known as Naghsh-e Jahan Sq. (Literally meaning “Image of the World”), is one of the largest in the world (500m by 160m), and a majestic example of town planning. Built at the start of the 17th century, the UNESCO-listed square is dotted with the most interesting sites in Isfahan.

Modern Isfahan is now home to heavy industry, including steel plants and a nuclear facility on its outskirts, however, its inner core wants to be preserved as a priceless gem.

ABU / AFM