After spending two days in Tehran, we left early in the morning to get on the road to Kashan with Ali, his sisters and father. Our friends Amir and Mitra joined us on the way. Kashan is overlooked in many tourists’ itineraries, but it is a gem in the desert and has spectacular architecture that amazed me.
The road from Tehran to the historical centre of Kashan takes about three hours but we like to see cool places on the way so our first stop was the Fin Garden (Bagh-e Fin). We had breakfast there and then saw the gardens and buildings. The Fin Garden is some sort of spa from the Safavid era and it is on the Unesco World Heritage List.
The water distribution system is very impressive and the garden has a very peaceful feel to it after the trip through the desert. This is also the place where the great Persian statesman Amir Kabir was murdered in the bath by Nasser al-Din Shah, he is buried here so the place has historical importance for Iranians.
Kashan is famous for its rose water and rugs, it used to be an important trade hub and many wealthy merchants lived here. The houses of two of them especially are very much worth a visit: the Houses of Boroujerdi and Tabatabaei. There are four courtyards in the House of Tabatabaei, and it stands in a beautiful garden. It is so pretty with its ceilings covered with geometric ornaments, the intricate mirror work on its walls and its colourful windows.
The House of Boroujerdi was built for a bride they took from the Tabatabaei family. This beautiful building is also very impressive with its rectangular courtyard, the glazed tiles and the pictures of important family members on the walls. We were amazed by the wind towers which keep the building cool at all times.
There are two door knockers on each door in Kashan, just like in Ottoman houses. The long and narrow one was for male visitors, and the round one was for female visitors to knock, so that the women living in the house would know to cover themselves.
We spent hours admiring the architecture, then said goodbye to Amir and Mitra who had to go back to Tehran and went on our way to Isfahan. We had wonderful views of the desert, drove past the controversial nuclear enrichment facilities and reached Isfahan at dusk.