My first trip to the only red village of Iran, called Abyaneh, (population around 305) was in 2004. We arrived around lunch time to the village, which has preserved in itself a live museum. Monuments from many lifetimes ago to this day. The village has 1500 years of written history but the people of Abyaneh will tell you otherwise, they say the village has been there for 6000 years.
We and our German tutor were so amazed by this tiny village, characterized by a peculiar reddish hue. The village is one of the oldest in Iran, attracting numerous native and foreign tourists year-round, especially during traditional feasts and ceremonies.
An Abyanaki woman typically wears a white long scarf (covering the shoulders and upper trunk) which has a colourful pattern and an under-knee skirt. Abyunaki people have persistently maintained this traditional costume.
On top of the village sits the ruins of a Sasanid era fort. The dialect of the people of Abyaneh has preserved some characteristics of the Middle Persian language, the language of the Sassanian Persia.
(Sassani dynasty, also called the “Empire of Empires”, was the last Iranian empire before the rise of Islam, ruled by and named after the Sasanian dynasty from 224 to 651 AD.)
A ruined but extensive Zoroastrian fire temple, dating from the 3rd century CE, lies in the center of the village, and nearby is the Jameh Mosque.
However, the real joy is the vernacular architecture of red mud-brick houses with wooden balconies and decorated doors, in narrow alleyways. There are no buses going this way and you will need to hire a taxi from Kashan to explore this little gem.
Photos courtesy of NOGOL ZAHABI
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