Ancient underground

Underground city added to national heritage list

The underground city of Sefidshahr, along with six other properties across Isfahan province, has recently been inscribed on the national heritage list.

Ancient underground
Ancient underground

The Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts announced the inscriptions on Saturday in separate letters 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 were also added to the prestigious list.

Such underground cities which can be found in almost every corner of the country are a distinctive kind of troglodytic architecture. Inhabitants would dig underground chambers as hideout spots for women, children, and the elderly to cope with infrequent attacks by foreign invaders.

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

Isfahan is renowned not only for the abundance of great historical bridges but also for its ‘life-giving river’, the Zayandeh-Rood, which has long bestowed 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 encircling hot, dry Iranian countryside.

The huge Imam Square, best known as Naghsh-e Jahan Sq. (literary meaning “Image of the World”), is one of the largest in the world (500m by 160m), and a majestic example of town planning. Built in the early 17th century, the UNESCO-registered square is punctuated with the most interesting sights in Isfahan.

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