Arg-e Bam, the Brick Structure Citadel

Bam, the world's largest brick structure, is still alive

In the early centuries, Bam was the second most important city of Kerman and was an important Centre for trade with the provinces of Sistan and Khorasan. Bam is located 220 km southeast of Kerman, it stands at an altitude of 1062 m. bam enjoys the benefits of two very extreme altitudes. There is the mountainous area, which is provided by a continuation of the central mountain ranges from Iran.

Cities do not die after being abandoned .they are alive even when the earthquake ruins them. When on December 26, 2003; an earthquake killed almost a generation of the bam it was thought that the 2000-years-old history of the man had also buried under the debris.

Bam Castle

Bam, the world’s largest brick structure, is still alive

Nevertheless, the fact is that the world largest complex made of sun-dried bricks are still alive and it is one of the best hosts for the tourists.
Arg-e Bam (Bam citadel) with an area of 20 hectares and 492 hectares cultural landscape is located on the eastern north of Bam and at the foot of an enormous rock; it was once the old city of Bam. The old Bam consists of 4 parts and 38 watchtowers. The main materials of the castle were adobe, clay and chaff. It is by UNESCO as part of the world heritage site “Bam and its cultural landscape”. This enormous citadel on the Silk Road was built before 500 BC and remained in use until 1850 AD. It is not known for certain why it was then abandoned. The 2003 Earthquake in Bam destroyed more than 80 percent of citadel. As a World Heritage site, several countries are cooperating in the reconstruction and after comprehensive researches the authorities announced that the citadel would be rebuild.

According to Mr.Naderi, member of the board of the rebuilding of the Bam, earthquake has destroyed almost all the entries of the Arg and the most important procedure at the time was to open these entries for the medics and apparatus to help the wounded people. However, this cleanup was not an industrial one, the topographers, archaeologists, architects and reconstruction groups were the first groups to be appeared there.
The codified every part the stricken citadel and then the archaeologists and reconstruction groups began the cleanup procedure and at the same time all the necessary and protective actions had proceeded to reinforce the remaining of the citadel with buttress. Barraks of the old citadel and Mirza na’im school were the only sites that have not been destroyed completely.
It is believed that their symmetrical construction strengthens them against earthquake.

Bam CastleBam CastleBam Castle

Citadel design & Architecture

One of the characteristics of this historical complex is the continuation of history in it. Over 2000 years has passed over this citadel and several monuments from prehistoric times to the Islamic era have been discovered in it.
Its founder is is Bahman the son of Esfandyar. Since various Archeological researches have done about it, so there is no correct information about its exact date of establishment.
One of the studies about the citadel has been done by Mr.Nurbakhsh and his colleagues which is published before Islamic revolution in a book under the name of “Arg-e bam”. According to this, the building of citadel and the ancient city of Bam belong to middle period of Ashkanis.
Bam complex consists of:

  • The main gateway
  • Bazaar
  • Tekeh Square
  • The Large Mosque of Arg
  • Mirza Na’im Momplex
  • Armory
  • Wind Mill
  • Ruler House
  • The Main Well of the Citadel
  • The Remain of Old Fence
  • Kenari Mahale
  • Kat Korom Gateway
  • Jail

There were two another historical buildings in Bam and near Bam that their historical importance had not yet recognized well and one of them was completely unknown.

As you pass the gate, you step to a silent city. However, with the help of your imagination, you can still hear the sounds of life-the sounds of people in the streets, houses and commerce buildings-for the echo is forever preserved in Bam’s clay building.

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