A glimpse on Iran’s private side: The Abbasian House in Kashan

Angela Corrias *– Before getting to beautiful Abyaneh, the guys of the Unified Ummah, the NGO that invited me to Iran, planned a stop in Kashan, ancient oasis city dating back to the 4th century BC that offers to visitors the priceless view of typical desert architecture. At about 228km away from Tehran, Kashan is a must-stop as it gives the great opportunity to take a peek on Iran’s private side by visiting a local house.

Welcome to Kashan

Kashan’s architectural style perfectly adapts to its surroundings: the mountain range creates a red boundary on one side, while the desert on the other side gives the environment its typical warm colors, widely used for decorating the city. With this in mind, we dared invading the privacy of the Abbasian tribe by visiting their huge residence.

The very entrance of the house

This house, obviously belonging to a wealthy family, was built around a courtyard, and its windows, doors and arches look at the inside instead of the outside.

The residence was built keeping the four seasons in mind, so the underground floors had the purpose to soothe the summer’s extreme desert heat, while the winter was spent on the south of the house, to allow its dwellers to enjoy the daylight as much as possible.

The beautiful courtyard near the entrance

The construction is actually not ancient, less than 200 years old, and the first thing visitors will notice is its majesty. The huge first, very well preserved, courtyard was devoted to welcome guests. The big pool in the middle and the finely decorated garden made it for a delightful view.

In front of the house, already inside

At the house we had a local guide but we were also free to wander around as we pleased, which gave me the time to take all the photos I wanted.

The daylight was slowly fading away and still no muezzin was on background.I started wondering whether he was not audible from where we were, which would have sounded very strange for a religious society, or if I was getting used to him already after a couple of days in Iran.

The ceiling inside the house

From my visit to Istanbul, I’ve always had a good memory of the muezzin, even at 4am I almost longed for his suggestive lament, so now I didn’t understand how he could go unnoticed.

To my relief, though, I soon learned I wasn’t that wrong, and after leaving the Abbasian family to what could have been their evening chores, we headed to the mosque for the last prayer of the day.

At the mosque, time for prayer

* Angela Corrias is a freelance photographer, travel writer and Rome Correspondent  for Forbes. She writes on her personal website Chasing the Unexpected.

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