Abyaneh, which is also known as the Red Village because of its red soil and houses, is an ancient Iranian Village located at the foot of Karkas Mountain, 70 kilometers southeast of Kashan in Isfahan province. Abyaneh is a Village of living traditions and architectural styles. Researchers and archaeologists believe that the village originated about 1500 years ago and is one of the historical places in Iran that has become famous worldwide. According to archaeologists, the old mansions of the Abyaneh village were designed and built during the rule of the Seljuk, Qajar, Sassanid, and Safavid dynasties. Karkas Mountains and its surroundings were the hunting area for Safavid kings and Abyaneh was the destination for their summer vacation. Abyaneh’s high elevation causes cool summer and very cold winter days. Because of its mountainous setting, Abyaneh stayed isolated for many years and people’s customs and language is untouched and preserved. In Abyaneh people speak Farsi with a special dialect belonging to the village only. They still use some words from the Parthian era.
The Village is compact, with narrow and sloped lanes, and houses located on the slope as if placed on a stairway. The houses bear an ancient architectural style, featured by the use of clay as the construction material and latticed windows and wooden doors. Similar to other mountainous villages of Iran, Masouleh or Uraman Takht, Abyaneh has stepped structure with the roof of each house being the courtyard of the one above it.
One of the most interesting points about Abyaneh is the culture of its local residents. Elderly people of the village still speak Middle Persian, which was originally the language of Sassanian Persia and disappeared many centuries ago. The way people dress here is also very notable.Men wear a very loose pair of pants and the women’s traditional costume consists of a long colorful dress, along with a special pair of pants, and a white long scarf with colorful floral design named Charghad. Almost all of the women in the village wear this costume, just like their ancestors. And this tradition makes Abyaneh even more special.
Besides the charismatic beauty of the village, there are historic monuments as well. There is a Zoroastrian fire temple dating back to the Sassanid period, three castles, a pilgrimage site, and two mosques. The most famous monument of Abyaneh is The Great Mosque, with an ancient Mihrab made of walnut wood covered with carvings of calligraphy and floral designs. The Great Mosque is closed and cannot be visited because of its very long and valuable history.
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