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Wednesday, 18 December 2013 15:08

Kolah Farangi Citadel

Birjand is the capital of South Khorasan province. The famous city is known for its saffron, barberry, rug and handmade carpet exports.

The earliest citation of the city in historical literature can be seen in the famous book Mojam Al-Boldan by the Yaqout Homavi (13th century), which introduces Birjand as the most beautiful town in the region, HistoricalIran reported.
Earlier, Birjand was only a rural community. However, its historical and political importance emerged long before its transformation into the city of Birjand.
Apart from literature, the oldest evidence about the history of the region is the ancient Lakh-Mazar Inscription in Kouch Village some 25 km southeast of Birjand.
Numerous fine drawings and inscriptions are carved on an igneous rock surface. The inscriptions include pictograms as well as Arsacid Pahlavi, Sassanian Pahlavi, Arabic and Persian scripts.
Birjand has many historical monuments. Kolah Farangi Citadel is one of the most important monuments of South Khorasan province.

Location and Structure

Kolah Farangi Citadel was built during the late Zand and early Qajar eras between 1848 and 1895.
This unique landmark, constructed by Amir Hassan Khan Sheibani, consists of a garden, stable, bathhouse, offices, and a reception hall.
Its structure has a hexagonal base and a white conical top. It is white in color and construction materials consist of brick and limestone.
The wall decorations are honeycomb plasterwork, motifs and niches. It is six stories high, although only two floors are functional.
The main entrance is preceded by a roofed area featuring eye-catching arcs. The ground floor is the largest section of the citadel.
The interior of the ground floor has a number of rooms connected by hallways. In the center is a pool that can be accessed from different entrances.
It is situated approximately a meter lower than the rest of the floor and is octagonal. The pool helps optimize ventilation throughout the building.
The next floor is also octagonal, but is smaller and has fewer rooms. Other floors are progressively smaller and are strictly aimed at maintaining the citadel’s current shape and have no other use.
Kolah Farangi Citadel was registered as national cultural heritage site number 1880.
At present, it houses South Khorasan governor’s office and storage space.

Akbarieh Garden

Akbarieh Garden, with Akbarieh Mansion in center, dates back to Qajar Era.
The two-story mansion was built by Ismaeil Khan Shokat-ol-Molk, a prominent landholder of Qajar Era.
Its architecture is a blend of Russian and Persian architectures. The mansion includes different parts such as a mirror hall and pergola, each section of which has unique decorations.
An anthropology museum has been established on the first floor of the mansion to display costumes and traditional arts belonging to the region.
Historical documents and letters are also displayed in the museum.

Source: Iran Daily

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