Sunday, August 27, 2017



Midway between Tehran and Esfahan is the desert city of Kashan. Kashan is best known for two things: its historical houses and its rosewater. Kashanis are stereotyped as being tarsoo (kind of like scaredy-cats), and their accent has lots of "o" and "a" (like apple) sounds. 

I visited Kashan in the spring of 2016 during their annual golâb giri, rosewater festival (and it’s around this time that you want to go. A little bit later, and it’ll be entirely too hot). The fragrant Mohammadi roses grow especially well in dry climates, making Kashan the perfect locale. And only since my trip to Kashan do I realize what pure rosewater is! I used to buy it from the store, but once I went to Kashan, I stocked up on the fresh supply from the distillery. Pure rosewater is slightly bitter and nowhere near as perfume-y as the store-bought kinds (though still quite fragrant). And with pure rosewater, a little goes a long way. (It’s also supposed to be really great for your skin. I spritz some on my face every night after washing. #persianbeautysecrets) 



What to see


You can easily finish seeing Kashan in a day, but you might want to stay the night in one of the historical houses which have been converted into chic boutique hotels and then hit the road the next day. 

Fin Garden


Fin Garden | Kashan | Iran
Fin Garden


Fin Garden (Bâgh-e Fin) is one of the gardens that comprises UNESCO’s listing of Persian Gardens. It’s got lovely towering cypress trees, flowing water, and bubbling fountains, one of which is full of coins because there’s a hole in the center that's impossible to get a coin in, but people keep trying. The buildings are full of stained glass windows and ceiling frescos. To the side is Fin Bath where Amir Kabir, a Qajar-era chancellor, was murdered by an assassin.


Fin Garden | Kashan | Iran
Ceiling at Fin Garden

Fountain | Fin Garden | Kashan | Iran
It's said to be impossible to get a coin in the hole.


The first time I visited Fin Garden, it was just lovely. Not too crowded or hot. But the second time, all I wanted to do was run away. It was a holiday weekend, and the place was swarming with people, making for a quite unpleasant visit. You’re best bet is during the week or early on the weekend.

Historical Houses


Ameriha House | Kashan | Iran
Ameriha Historical House

There are several historical houses in Kashan, and you’ll be delighted by all of them. I walked through the Borujerdi House with its beautiful plasterwork, frescoes, and pomegranate trees just wondering what it must have been like to live there. If you go to the rooftop of Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse, you can get a look at the Borujerdi House dome-roof and windcatchers. The Ameri-ha House is a popular place to grab some lunch, and there are nice stores inside for handicrafts and women’s fashion shopping. 


Borujerdi House | Kashan | Iran
Interior of the Borujerdi House

Borujerdi house | Kashan | Iran
Roof of the Borujerdi House as seen from Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse


Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse


Speaking of the bathhouse, I didn’t get a chance to visit inside (and I don’t remember why now because it's supposed to be awesome), but I did climb on the roof which was a lovely surprise. It looks like space pods have landed. 


Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse | Kashan | Iran
The roof of Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse

Tepe Sialk


Everyone seems to forget about Tepe Sialk, but it’s one of the oldest four ziggurats in Iran dating back some 7,500 years. Not much of it remains, but it’s worth a stop to get a history of it, check out the modest display of excavated pottery at the visitor’s center, and discover the two encased 5,500-year-old skeletons. Tepe Sialk may seem like heap of dust today, but it offers a nice point of reflection of the past and present as you look out onto the rapidly encroaching city of Kashan.  

Tepe Sialk | Kashan | Iran
Tepe Sialk

Tepe Sialk Skeleton | Kashan | Iran
Skeleton at Tepe Sialk


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What to see and do in Kashan, Iran


4 comments:

  1. Is this the hometown of Sohrab Sepehri?

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  2. Hi Pontia! Just wanted to let you know how much I've been enjoying your Iran A-Z series. The photos of Kashan are gorgeous, and make me want to visit someday (especially as I am a huge fan of rose water--I bet the pure stuff is amazing). Thank you for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Alanna! I hope you do visit one day. You'll have to stock up on plenty of rose water :)

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