Everything about Rafsanjan

Rafsanjan is an ancient city in Kerman province that people all over the world know as the city of pistachios. In this article of Chiyakotravel, we are going to visit this unknown city in more details.

Rafsanjan is one of the valuable and historical cities of Kerman province, which is located between Kerman and Yazd. A land that is known all over the world as pure Iranian pistachio called Rafsanjan pistachio. In addition to the valuable souvenirs of this region from Iran, the antiquity and historical background of this city is another reason for the importance and value of this southeastern city of Iran, where you can see many ancient monuments and tourist attractions.

A city that has been repeatedly attacked in its historical record, but still as strong as a mountain and alive and green like a cypress, is watching history. There are different opinions and narrations about the fame of this city to Rafsanjan. Some believe that the city is known for its presence due to copper mines time. Because in the past, “Rafsankan” was the name of this city, which is composed of two words “Rafsan” which in the language of ancient Iran means “copper” and “Kan” meaning “mine”.

Over time, “Rafsanjan” has changed to the Arabic word “Rafsanjan” as today. Others believe that the first name of Rafsanjan was “Sanjan”; Due to its location in the path of floods, it has suffered significant destruction and damaged many times due to the occurrence of floods, and for this reason, it has been renamed “Raft Sanjan” and then “Rafsanjan” among people.

1. Haj Agha Ali Historical House | the largest brick house in the world

5 km southeast of Rafsanjan and in the village of Qasemabad of this city, there is a beautiful and historical mansion which is known as “Haj Agha Ali House”. This valuable monument of ancient Iran is a collection with magnificent and masterful Iranian architecture during the Qajar dynasty which today is one of the most beautiful and largest brick and traditional houses in the world. This building was built by Haj Agha Ali, known as “Zaeem Ullah Rafsanjani”, one of the greatest Iranian merchants and traders during the Qajar period with an area of ​​7,000 square meters and was built in the early 12th century AH.

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Haj Ali Agha house
Haj Ali Agha house

Haj Agha Ali House is one of the most beautiful sights of Rafsanjan and one of the rarest houses left from Qajar period.  Haj Agha Ali House, with an area of ​​7,000 square meters and 86 rooms, is the largest brick house in the world. The house building has 4 main parts, which are: royal section, pool house, autumn and winter building. Since the house is built in desert areas, very high walls have been built around it to prevent desert sands from entering the complex.

2. Rageh Strait (Rageh Valley) | the result of thousands of years of erosion

Near Rafsanjan city, one of the most beautiful and enchanting natural tourist attractions can be seen which is called “Rageh Strait” or “Rageh Valley”. A large area with a length of 20 km and a depth of 80 meters, which in terms of nature tourism potential, many tourism experts consider it as the plain of Shahdad Kaluts in Kerman province.

 

Rage valley
Rage valley

The natural decoration on the walls of the strait which looks like the carved stones of ancient civilizations, the flow of the permanent river “Gyudri” through them, the clear and starry sky at the top of this magnificent strait, the unique wildlife of the valley, and its extraordinary beauty. Remarkable is this natural phenomenon that has made it one of the most popular and at the same time most attractive sights of Rafsanjan city.

Rageh Valley is one of the most special and unique valleys in Iran which is located near Rafsanjan. A valley in the heart of the desert that is 70 meters deep and 180 meters wide and its length reaches 20 kilometers. The crossing of the Gyudri River through the heart of the valley creates a spectacular view.
Experts believe that the Rage Valley was formed by wind and water erosion. In parts of this valley, high rocks and ridges can be seen, some of which reach a height of 100 meters. You will be delighted to see the majesty of these rocks which rise like pillars. The Rage Valley is 20,000 years old (corresponding to the fourth geological period). This amazing valley was discovered while exploring the mines. If you are planning to travel to Rafsanjan, do not miss seeing this amazing and extraordinary valley.

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3. Moin windbreak | A cooling tower from Qajar period

Another historical tourist attraction in Rafsanjan is a beautiful structure belonging to Qajar period called “Moin Badgir” whose builders use materials such as raw clay, wood, thatch, brick, etc. to build and construct it. they have payed. The height of this windbreak is 16 meters. It is interesting to know that this historical monument is the remaining part of a certain mansion that was renovated and restored in 2005 by the Cultural Heritage Administration.

Moien windbreak
Moien windbreak

Windbreaks are the earliest type of ventilation that has long been built in the desert regions of Iran, especially Kerman and Yazd. These ventilators were built in the form of towers on the roofs of houses, and their architecture was such that the cool air was transferred to the lower parts of the building. The construction of windbreaks in the city of Rafsanjan which has a semi-desert climate, is also very common and various forms of it can be seen in the old buildings of the city. Moien windmill, located east of Banafsheh Street, is one of the sights of Rafsanjan. This windbreak is the remnant of a certain mansion left from the Qajar period. It is made of brick, wood, raw clay and thatch and has a height of about 16 meters.

4. Anthropological Museum of Rafsanjan (Agha Seyed Mehdi Bath) | a place to get acquainted with the life and customs of local people

Another cultural and historical attraction in Rafsanjan city is the anthropological museum of this area of ​​Kerman province, the building of which has a historical antiquity. In fact, this cultural complex was formerly known as “Agha Seyed Mehdi Bath” which changed its use in 2005, after the completion of repairs and reconstruction of this old bath, and has become a museum of archeology, anthropology and paleontology. In this museum, all kinds of sculptures, antiques, weaving tools, spinning machines, water mills, old copies, ornaments, stone cauldrons, pottery, as well as photographs of the elders and rulers of Rafsanjan which belong to the late Qajar and early Pahlavi period, are on display.

Rafsanjan museum
Rafsanjan museum

The historical bath of Mr. Seyyed Mehdi Qureshi, which is currently the Anthropological Museum of Rafsanjan, is located in the Museum Square of the city and is one of the most interesting sights of Rafsanjan. In this museum, the lifestyle and customs of people of Rafsanjan are displayed. The dressing room is connected to the greenhouse by a small corridor, where many sculptures can be seen. The statue of women in colorful clothes holding trays of coins, flowers and food depicts the wedding ceremonies and rituals of the people of Rafsanjan during  Qajar period. Other sculptures of men and women in local costumes can be seen in the museum. Spinning and weaving machines, water mills, antiques, traditional bath items and 3 other objects in the museum.

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5. Rafsanjan Pigeon house Caravansary

In the city of Rafsanjan, you can see many historical monuments and old buildings, each of which has witnessed many historical events, and today as a precious heritage for the future, such as the mountain has risen and watched the passage of time. “Pigeon House Caravansary” is another masterpiece of these historical monuments in the city of Rafsanjan which dates back to Safavid period. Of course, some experts believe that this historical monument belongs to the early days of Zandieh rule, considering the stone inscriptions that can be seen on the entrance of this caravansary. A structure made of bricks that has been decorated with beautiful and prominent images and maps, for which it has brought exemplary splendor. The plan of “Pigeon House Caravansary” is very similar to the plan of Safavid caravansaries; Meanwhile, there are four towers in the four corners of this building which is one of the obvious differences with the Safavid caravansary.

Rafsanjan Pigeon house Caravansary
Rafsanjan Pigeon house Caravansary

7. Rafsanjan Old Bazaar

Another historical and ancient monument of Rafsanjan is the old bazaar of this city, which has been known as one of the important economic and commercial centers of Rafsanjan since ancient times.
Rafsanjan Bazaar can be considered a symbol of architecture of different eras and it can be introduced as one of the most unique historical monuments in Kerman province and Rafsanjan city. A complex consisting of Sare, dock, water storage, Saqqa khaneh, bath, caravanserai, mosque and not the Seljuk dome, which some archaeologists believe is one of the first buildings in Rafsanjan. It seems that the first building of this valuable historical complex was built by the order and efforts of “Bahram Shah of Seljuk” in the middle of the 6th century AH.