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MBam Citadel

Bam Citadel and its Cultural Landscape, which was the largest clay building in the world which is located in Bam, a small city in Kerman Province. It registered as UNESCO World Heritage Site which includes Bam and its Cultural Landscape. The great Bam citadel Kerman dates back to the Achaemenid Empire on the Silk Road. Also, the importance of the citadel was from the seventh to eleventh centuries, when it was the important trade route and famous for the production of silk and cotton.

Bam_citadel_Iran google map location

Lut Desert , Bam_citadel_Iran google map location

 

Location

Bam situated in a desert environment on the southern edge of the Iranian high plateau. Bam lies 1,060 metres 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. This valley forms the wider cultural landscape of the Bam County.

Also, Bam is located in an oasis area, the existence of which has been based on the use of underground water canals, qanāts, and has preserved evidence of the technological development in the building and maintenance of the qanāts over more than two millennia. In addition ,Bam had a strategic location on the Silk Roads connecting it to Central Asia in the east, the Persian Gulf in the south, as well as Egypt in the west and it is an example of the interaction of the various influences.

Origins

The origins of the citadel of Bam, Arg-e Bam,  traced back to the Achaemenid period (6th to 4th centuries BC) and even beyond. The heyday of the citadel was from the 7th to 11th centuries, 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 quarters and the fortified residential area, forms the central focus of a vast cultural landscape, which marked by a series of forts and citadels, now in ruins.

Moreover, the existence of life in the oasis was based on the underground irrigation canals, the qanāts, of which Bam has preserved some of the earliest evidence in Iran and which continue to function till the present time. Arg-e Bam the most representative example of a fortified medieval town built in vernacular technique using mud layers (Chineh), sun-dried mud bricks (khesht), and vaulted and domed structures. Outside the core area of Arg-e Bam, other protected historic structures which include Qal’eh Dokhtar (Maiden’s fortress, ca. 7th century), Emamzadeh Zeyd Mausoleum (11-12th century), and Emamzadeh Asiri Mausoleum (12th century and historic qanāt systems and cultivations southeast of the Arg.

Some of the citadel’s features such as its establishment on a platform combining a natural hilltop and a manmade terrace have been compared by archaeologists to the Achaemenian model of Persepolis. During the Parthian rule, the fort was expanded and became Arg-e-Bam, the Citadel of Bam.

Also, a comparative study titled “Bam and a Brief History of Urban Settlement and Planning in Iran” concluded that the essential core of the city of Bam and the Governor’s section built during the Parthian era. Under the Sassanids, the castle was seized by Ardeshir Babakan. New fortifications and walls  constructed between 224 and 637 AD.

Its heyday from the 7th to 11th centuries, being at the crossroads of important trade routes and known for the production of silk and cotton garments. The existence of life in the oasis was based on the underground irrigation canals, the qanāts, of which Bam has preserved some of the

Kerman , Bam Citadel

Actually, the general building contains a large castle and the citadel, but because of the affective look of the citadel, the entire fortress named the Bam Citadel. Besides, because of earthquake on December 26, 2003, this Citadel destroyed completely, along with much of the rest of Bam and it’s encompass.

Furthermore ,the extremely destructive quake killed about 26,200, injured thousands and left more than 75,000 homeless. Besides, approximately 70% of the buildings  destroyed. Also,the earthquake was wrenching because its hypocenter was located just below the city of Bam, around 7 km deep. Several days after the earthquake, Mohammad Khatami, the President of Iran, announced that the Citadel rebuilt.

 

Iran Destination , Kerman , Bam Citadel

The Architectural form of Bam Citadel

The planning and architecture of the citadel  thought out from different points of view. From the present form of the citadel one can see that the planner(s) had foreseen the entire final form of the building and city from the first steps in the planning process. In addition , during each phase of building development the already-built part enjoyed a complete figure, and each additional part could  “sewn” into the existing section seamlessly.

There are two different distinguishable parts in the architectural form of Bam Citadel:

• The rulers’ part which has the most internal wall that was holding the citadel, mill, barracks, 4-season house, water-well, and a stable for 200 horses.
• There is a bazaar alongside the North to South, and the ruled-over part surrounding the rulers’ place, consisting of the main entrance of the entire fortress-city and the bazaar too.
Three different types are recognizable, among the houses:

Smaller houses with 2–3 rooms for the poor families, Bigger houses with 3–4 rooms for the middle social class families , The most luxurious houses for rich families with more rooms oriented in different directions that all of them are suitable for different seasons of the year

Bam Citadel Kerman, Iran Destination

Description of the citadel

The citadel consists of four main sections: a residential zone, the stables, the army barracks and the governor’s residence. Arg-e-Bam had 38 watchtowers, four entrance gates and the outer defense wall is surrounded by a moat. The Government Quarters are on a rocky hill, protected by a double fortification wall. The most notable structures are the bazaar, the Congregational Mosque, the Mirza Na’im ensemble and the Mir House

Bam and its Cultural Landscape represents an outstanding example of an ancient fortified settlement that developed around the Iranian central plateau and is an exceptional testimony to the development of a trading settlement in the desert environment of the Central Asian region. Moreover, this impressive construction undoubtedly represents the climax and is the most important achievement of its type not only in the area of Bam but also in a much wider cultural region of Western Asia.

Dimensions

Larger than nearby Rayen Castle, the area of Bam Citadel is approximately 180,000 square meters (44 acres), and it is surrounded by gigantic walls 6–7 metres (20–23 ft) high and 1,815 metres (5,955 ft) long. The citadel features two of the “stay-awake towers” for which Bam is famed – there are as many as 67 such towers scattered across the ancient city of Bam.

Iran Destination , Kerman

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