The Arg-e Bam (Bam Citadel) was the largest adobe building in the world, located in Bam, a city in the Kermān Province of southeastern Iran. It is listed by UNESCO as part of the World Heritage Site “Bam and its Cultural Landscape”. The origin of this enormous citadel on the Silk Road can be 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 entire building was a large fortress in whose heart the citadel itself was located, but because of the impressive look of the citadel, which forms the highest point, the entire fortress is named the Bam Citadel.
On December 26, 2003, the Citadel was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake, along with much of the rest of Bam and its environs. A few days after the earthquake, the Iranian President Mohammad Khatami announced that the Citadel would be rebuilt.
“The Citadel of Bam(Arg-e Bam), which was habitable and in a fairly good condition until a hundred and fifty years ago, has, according to Hudud ol-Alam and other reliable sources that have come down to us from the 10th century AD, been founded some 2,000 years back, and has been repeatedly repaired thereafter.
Arg-e Bam sites in north-east of Bam. It bounded to north by Bam river or Poshrud river, to east byreminders of Hazrat Rasoul mosque and Baq Darvazeh gardens and to south by new established park and Hafezabad parish and to the west by Khajehmorad parish. Arg-e Bam complex includes old city and the citadel at an area about 20 hectares. The area of citadel is about 6 hectares. The citadel had been the political center of city.
The only gateway which is used now is the south gateway. Turning from the northern end of Sajadi street to the east of Arg street, you would reach whrere that in the past there had been the moat of citadel and now there is a park with young trees and beautiful white and purple flowers of oleander bushes. This park has established by Bam municipality. The southern gateway of citadel sites in the north side of the park.
The famous historical buildings of the world which generally belong tp a special period, such as Takht-e Jamshid of Fars located there. One of the characteristics of this historical complex is the continuation of history in them. About 2000 years has passed away over this citadel. Its founder is Bahman the son of Esfandyar. Since archeological researches have done about Arg-e Bam so there is not correct information about the date of its establishing. One of the studies about Arg-e Bam has been done by Mr Nurbakhsh and his colleagues which is published before Islamic Revolution in a book under the title of “Arg-e Bam”. According to him the building of citadel and the ancient city of Bam belong to the middle period of Ashkanis.
Arg-e Bam consists of:
– The main gateway
– Tekyeh square
– The large mosque of Arg
– Mirza Na’im complex
– The small mosque
– Palestra (Zourkhaneh)
– Arg bath house
– Hesar-e Dovom gateway
– The school or monastery of Arg
– Wind mill
– Ruler house
– The main well of Arg
– The reminders of old fence
– Kenari Mahale or Qolam Mahale
– Kat korom gateway
According geographers, the most surrounded Bam had been established to defense the city, they filled the moat with water, thus the fence around the city destroyed and the success to go into the city. This fence exposed to changes during history, but according to geographer of 4th century of Hijra, it has been existed at that time which means this fence belongs to the period before Islam. There are two another historical buildings in Bam and near Bam that their historical importance has not yet recognized well and one of them is completely unknown.
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