Abyaneh is one of the most beautiful historical village at the foot of Karkass mountain 70 km to the southeast of Kashan and 40 km to Natanz. This is a village of living traditions,architectural styles (all in red clay), and probably the most interesting example of human adaptation to
nature where one can transcend the boundaries of time and space and experience the ancient civilization and culture of Iran. The village is compact with narrow and sloped lanes and houses located on the slope as if placed on a stairway. Here, the roofs of some houses are used to serve as the courtyard for other houses higher up on the slope. The language spoken by the literate people is Parthian Pahlavi. They are deeply committed to honoring their traditions. No matter how well-educated a person from this village might be, he or she puts on the
traditional costume on coming back to the village from anywhere in Iran. The women’s traditional costume consisting of a scarf with floral
motifs and pleated pants, is particularly attractive. The Abyaneh woman is unseparably attached to her wedding gown inherited from her mother, and is expected to pass it on to her daughter. It bears Such an intrinsic value for her that she wouldn’t sell it at any price.
There are a good number of old houses in this village, among them the homes of Gholam Nader Shah and Nayeb Hossein Kashi. In addition to the Zoroastrian
fire temple (from the Sassanian period) in the village, there are three castles, a
pilgrimage site, three mosques named Hajatgah, Porzaleh, and Jam’e all worth a careful visit. Altogether there are eight mosques in the village.The Hajatgah mosque, built next to a rock, dates from the early Safavid period, according to an inscription on top of its door. Inside the mosque there is a beautiful
nocturnal prayer hall with wooden capital pillars. Porzaleh mosque built during the Ilkhanid reign in the oldest part of the village has a very vast nocturnal prayer hall. The ornamentation used here look very much like those of the tomb of Bayazid of Bastam, the great Persian mystic.The Jam’e Mosque of dates back to the eleventh century. There are a number of inscriptions and a manbar (pulpit) in the mosque. The interesting thing is that the pulpit has many
features similar to the architectural elements and column heads seen in
Abyaneh has a long history which dates back to more than 2,000 years ago and has been registered on Iran’s National Heritage List since 1975. The word Abyaneh has been derived from the word “viona” meaning a willow grove. Abyaneh has been called an entrance to Iranian history as the locals are deeply committed to honoring their traditions. The local clothing for example is in a style of great antiquity. The women’s
traditional costume typically consists of a white long scarf (covering the shoulders and upper trunk) which has a colorful or floral pattern and an under knee skirt or pleated pants. They have persistently maintained this traditional costume despite pressures from time to time by the
government trying to change it.
Abyaneh is known as one of the highly educated regions in Iran with a large number of engineers, doctors, and other specialists who have
migrated to different Iranian cities specially Kashan and Tehran. The permanent residents of Abyaneh have been dwindling over the past years and it is estimated the number of permanent residents of this historic Village is less than 250. Abyaneh is mainly watered by the River of Barzrud and has a cold climate. It enjoys numerous springs creating suitable conditions for agriculture. Seven qanats assist in the irrigation of the fields. The main agricultural products generated in Abyaneh are wheat, barley, potatoes and fruit such as apples, pears and apricots. As of late, carpet weaving has also become popular in the Village.
In addition to a Zoroastrian fire temple dating back to the Sassanid period, there are also three castles in the Village, a restaurant, a pilgrimage site and three mosques. According to an inscription on top of its door, one of the mosques, dates back to the early Safavid period, Inside the mosque there is a beautiful nocturnal prayer hall with wooden capital pillars.
Since June 2005, the Village has been undergoing archaeological excavations for the first time, as a result of an agreement between Abyaneh Research Center and ICHHTO’ Archaeology Research Center. Initial archaeological excavations resulted in the discovery of a residential area belonging to the Sassanid era. According to a report released following the visit of UNESCO representatives and experts of world heritage, the historical village has been recognized appropriate for being registered in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. However, continuation of hotel construction in Abyaneh has put the status of this historical Village at risk. The recent decision of an investor to erect a hotel in the
eastern part of the Village has raised the concern of cultural heritage enthusiasts and residents of Abyaneh.