Exploring Kashan's Historic Houses: Showcases of Persian Architecture
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The Tabatabaei House is undoubtedly one of Kashan’s most famous historical houses. Its unique architecture attracts many tourists. This mansion is about 186 years old and dates back to around 1837 AD. It consists of an interior, an exterior, and a section for the servants. Each part of the building showcases lavish decorations and a unique appearance.
Another recommended historic house to visit in Kashan is the Borujerdi House. This mansion dates back to the Qajar era, approximately 130 years ago, which translates to around 1893 AD. The architecture of this building is considered one of the masterpieces of Kashan and bears many similarities to the Tabatabaei House. Interestingly, this resemblance is because the son of Mr. Borujerdi, who was in love with Mr. Tabatabaei’s daughter, proposed marriage to her. Mr. Tabatabaei’s condition for the union was to build a mansion similar to his own house for his daughter.
Among other historic houses in Kashan, the Ameri House, one of Kashan’s most beautiful and largest historical houses, deserves mention. Currently, this mansion operates as a 5-star inn hosting many tourists. The estate dates back to the Ilkhanate era, specifically the Mongol dynasty’s reign in Iran, roughly the 13th century AD. The Ameri House boasts nearly 80 rooms and seven courtyards. An exciting feature is that it has the tallest wind catcher among all the historic houses in Kashan.
The Sharifian mansion, with a history of over 200 years, is another historic house in Kashan built in 1811 AD (1230 AH) in Kashan. This house comprises three spatial complexes, with the two primary complexes located on two floors at the northern and southern fronts of the courtyard. We recommend visiting this house when you travel to Kashan.
The Manuchehri mansion is another historic house in Kashan, which has been transformed into a beautiful traditional residence dating back 400 years. This landmark building can be considered one of the masterpieces of Iranian architecture located in the historic fabric of Kashan. On the upper floor of this mansion, there’s an art gallery that hosts artists from the region.
Another historic house in Kashan dates back to the Qajar period and is approximately 100 years old. This landmark building is located on Fazel Naraqi Street and Farhang Alley and was nationally registered in 2005. It should be mentioned that currently, with a change of use, this house has been transformed into a traditional residence for Iranian and foreign tourists.
Another mansion we want to discuss is the Shah Yilani Mansion, one of Kashan’s most famous historical houses. Its history dates back to the Qajar and Pahlavi eras, and is located in the Darb-e Bagh neighborhood. The central part of this house includes two pools, a royal sitting area, an octagonal entrance, a summer porch, a winter porch, and a windcatcher. It is currently referred to as a traditional guesthouse, offering reasonable accommodations.
In the Kushk Safi neighborhood, another historical house of Kashan named Hosseini and Bani Kazemi is located. Based on the evidence, its original construction belongs to the Qajar era. It is one of the houses with an exterior and interior courtyard, with beautifully designed spaces around it. This house lacks an external garden, but a small secluded courtyard is noticeable behind its southern royal sitting area. The main architectural rooms of this building include southern and northern basements, a royal sitting area, a penthouse, an octagonal entrance, and a summer porch. The central courtyard of this mansion is approximately 960 square meters, and it was registered as a national monument of Iran in 1998.
In the Darb-e Isfahan neighborhood, another historical house of Kashan named Moshki is located. The age of this house dates back to the Qajar era, and it belongs to that category of Kashan houses that only have one main central courtyard. The house is two-story and constructed in a three-sided style. Central architectural spaces of this building include a basement, a moonlit area, a royal sitting area, an octagonal entrance, a summer porch, a penthouse, and its spring bedroom.
Another historical house we wish to mention is the Attarha House. Its history traces back to the Qajar period. It’s located in the Panjeh Shah neighborhood and is one of the spacious buildings comprising three courtyards and belongs to the Qajar era. The existing building might only be a part of a larger original structure. A primary feature is that more than half of its spaces are located in the eastern and western parts of the courtyard. Central architectural rooms of this building include three basements, three windcatchers, a royal sitting area, an octagonal entrance, and its main pond. The primary and interior courtyard of the house covers more than 470 square meters. This building was registered as a national monument in 1998.
Opposite the Ehsan house, which we discussed earlier, another historical house of Kashan named Balachi is situated. This house, located on a lane leading to the Aqa Bozorg Mosque neighborhood from the graveyard’s gate, is over 130 years old. It stands as one of the old houses of Kashan with a central courtyard without a garden pit. Its architectural spaces have been built on two sides in three stories, with two stories above the public passageway, the main entrance, and one below. Notable features of this house include two large rooms and a royal seating area. Essential architectural spaces are the Shah’s basement, covered areas, moonlit spaces, an eight-sided entrance vestibule, and the summer and winter porches of this magnificent building. The Balachi historical house covers an area of 600 square meters and was registered as a national heritage site in 2000.
This building in the Kushk-e Safi neighborhood dates back to the early Qajar era. Like many old houses in Kashan, it only has a spacious central courtyard. Its interior and exterior sections are not separated. The spaces in the home are constructed on two sides with three stories around them. A unique architectural feature of this building is that its two constructed facades are not opposite each other. Instead, one is in the south, and the other is in the courtyard’s east. Significant architectural spaces of the house include the basement, royal seating area, “Seven Doors,” and the eight-sided entrance vestibule. The “Seven Doors” is one of the prominent features of this house. The courtyard of the Heshmat Khan house, with an area close to 820 square meters, is considered one of the most spacious courtyards in Kashan. The large entrance of the “Seven Doors” royal seating area is more than 8 meters, making it more significant than any other royal seating area in Kashan houses. The expansive royal seating area of the house is decorated with stucco work on its ceiling. The Cultural Heritage Organization and the Kashan Municipality fully restored the Heshmat Khan House, which is currently annexed to the Ameriha House.