One of the main cities of Esfahan province, Kashan is very near to Qom, and located in an altitude of 1,600 m above the sea level. It is 260 km to the south of Tehran and can be reached via Qom (105 km) on a first-class highway, national road, or railway. Apart from its world-famous carpets, and well known for its silk and the glazed earthenware tile called Kashi after its place of manufacture, Kashan is a beautiful large oasis town on the Qom-Kerman road running along the edge of the Great Desert, Kevir. One of the most important archaeological sites in central Iran, it is on the edge of the town. Kashan is also of interest for its connections with Shah Abbas I - it was a famous town of his, and he beautified it and asked to be buried here in the mausoleum of a 13th century ancestor.
Kashan flourished during the Sassanid dynasty; but, it was demolished during the Arab invasion with the exception of a few ancient buildings remaining. Kashan became prosperous again during Seljuq times and is known for its ceramics since then. Kashan once again was destroyed during Mongols invasion but it became an important town in the Safavid periods, and was the capital during the reign of Shah Abbas Safavid II. Some Safavid rulers preferred to live in Kashan rather than in the capital, Esfahan. A local historian wrote that Kashan's name is derived from "Key Ashian" which means place of rulers.
Kashan is internationally famous for manufacturing carpets, silk and other textiles.
Agha Bozorg Mosque
This mosque and theological school (Madreseh Agha Bozorg) is located in the center of Kashan. The mosque consisted of two large "eivan", one in front of the "mehrab" and the other by the entrance. The courtyard has a second court in the middle which comprised of a garden with trees and a fountain. Surrounding the courtyard are arcades. The eivan in front of mehrab has two minarets with a brick dome. The colors of arcades and eivan are restricted to blue, red, or yellow against a brick ground.
This is used to be a private home but now is open to public as a museum. This house was built in the early 19th century and consisted of a beautiful courtyard, delightful wall paintings and very unusual wind towers which helps cool the house
Bagh-e Fin is located a few kilometers southwest of Kashan, in the small village of Fin. This is one of the most famous gardens of Iran. This beautiful garden with its pool and orchards was designed for Shah Abbas I as a classical Persian vision of paradise. The original Safavid buildings have been substantially replaced and rebuilt by Qajar dynasty although the layout of trees and marble basins is close to the original.
This gorgeous garden with remains of its two story palace is a pleasant spot to relax in the shade. This palace is also notorious as the sight of the murder of Mirza Taghi Khan known as Amir kabir chancelor of Naser o-Din Shah of Qajar in 1852.
Friday Mosque or Masjed-e Jomeh with its 11th century "mehrab" was built during Seljuq period and has been restored several times since then. This mosque also dates back to Timurid Dynasty (15th century) and has a minaret with some ancient inscriptions.
This house was built in the 19th century and consisted of a beautiful courtyard, beautiful windows with the painted glases. This is used to be a private home but now is open to public as a museum.
The richest archaeological site in central Iran is the mound of the Tappeh-ye Sialk. This site was excavated by Ghirshman in the 1930s. The excavations revealed that the site is more than 7000 years old.
Sialk was occupied from the fourth millennium BCE until the 8th century BCE. Probably, one of the most interesting findings are inscribed clay tablets dating back to the late 3rd and early 2nd millennium BCE. There are also some records showing immigrants and conquerors passing through this region and settling near Bagh-e Fin.
The artifacts uncovered reside in the Louvre Museum in Paris and the archaeological museum in Tehran. There is not much to do or see there today unless you are an archaeologist.