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Kerman Historical-Cultural Structure

Date of Submission: 05/02/2008
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Iranian Cultural Heritage, Hanidcrafts and Tourism Organization
State, Province or Region:
Kerman province
Ref.: 5271

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One of the most important reasons for establishment of Kerman City is its location as a cross road. From long long ago, this city has been one of the important locations that connect West to East and North to South.

Such a specification has had a remarkable influence on construction and development of bazaar, in a way that the commercial zones of the city have been expanded to the outskirts of Kerman. As a result, the commercial axis and city plan have been designed based on the main commercial lines. The south-north line begins from Old Bazaar (Bazaar Kohneh) to Bazaar Aziz i.e. starting from Rigabad Gate to the surroundings of Gabri Gate and the east-west line of Kerman Bazaar that begins from Mosque gate and ends to Arg Square. Such a plan proves its important role and makes the architectural plan of the commercial axis as a cross-shaped intersection which led to be one of the most beautiful Iranian bazaars. Additionally, it provides the most accessibility between the bazaar and the old quarters of the city.

Justification of Outstanding Universal Value

I. The unique complex of Kerman Bazaar as a masterpiece proves the man's creativity for several reasons such as being the axis of the city structure, comprising of four complexes and centrality in dfferent periods.

II. In addition to valuable features of bazaar and its complexes especially Ganj-Ali Khan is a symbol of high human values in Safavid dynasty that contains allfeatures of Naghsh e Jahan Complex in a smaller scale such as bath, mosque, caravanserai and the most sophisticated and beautiful architectural and art techniques of its own time.

III. Ganj-Ali Khan Ensemble is a unique one because in contrast to the Safavids' tradition that built their ensembles out of the old city, they purchased and destroyed many old buildings in order to construct this complex as it has been located at the intersection of two main lines of Bazaar. Ibrahim Khan Ensemle in Qajar dynasty has been built on the same architectural model of Safavids '.

IV. The Ensembles of Kerman are of prominent examples of technical architecture that not only are recognized as the best city landmarks but also show the maximum utilization of security of Kerman that was provided in a short period of time.

VI. The Bazaar of Kerman has been and is the liveliest location in the city. There exist a lot of proverbs about Bazaar and its commodities. It has had and has a great influence culturally, economically and socially. The paintings above the gate of baths of Ganj-Ali Khan Ensemble show the daily activities in Safavid period.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

The sources relating to the Bazaar of Kerman: books, research papers, numerous travel books, bequest paper of Ganj-Ali Khan under the supervision of the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization as well as papers on its renovation. At the end, there is a list of titles in this regard.

Bazaar of Kerman has been built through different periods lasting one thousand years.

Comparison with other similar properties

There exist a lot of ancient fortresses all around the country .Although these fortresses share some common features, they are considered unique. If there was a market in cities with ancient fortresses the remains is not considerable. Concerning the above-mentioned feature Kerman fortresses are unique (Ardeshir and Doghtar fortresses and Chalipaie Bazar along with them).

In this section, Kerman fortresses and Bazar will be compared with similar ones in the country.

1) There exist some similarities between Narin fortresses of Meibod and Naiten with Kermani's. Concerning its architectural features Meibod fortress dates back to Median era, and apparently later on it was of concern again and reconstructed in form of a Sasanid city. This sun-dried brick fortress accommodated some people till the fall of Mozaffars Family Dynasty. Ordered by Amir Goorkani, some parts of the city were pulled down. This fortress like the Kermani's was located within a city, but constructing a couple next together was peculiar to Kerman. In Kerman, though, there was one (Dokhtar Fortress), a new one was built on the neighboring hill.

2) Dokhtar fortress in Firrozabad of Fars is a masterpiece of Sasanids: This fortiJied fortress was built by Ardeshir. Constructing this (like Bishapoor fortress) ruble stones and Sassanid mortar were used as construction materials. The Fortress was built on slope of the mount. As these were deserted they could sustain their primary architectural features during the time. As these two fortresses have been reconstructed over the time, there can be found some valuable remains of Partians' sun-dried bricks as well as added fortljcations during Saljooghi, Ilkhani and Ghajar eras. All these tougher made a precious collection out of these bricks and arches.

3) Enjoying four historical peculiar Bazaars, Kerman is considered a unique place in Iran and among Arabic countries. (Ganj-Ali Khan, Ebrahim Khan, Vakil and Haj Agha Ali).

4) Kerman Bazaar is the only one in its kind that enjoys a square (Ganjali Khan square which is not roofed) at a crossing of two straight roofed bazaars and a part of this Bazaar is turning around this square. In most cases the Bazaar entrances are from this square. Kerman is the only city that is benejted with a square within the market as well as a main entrance from Arg Square among the cities of dried and hot area.

5) Small mosque of Ganj-ali Khan within Kerman Bazaar is like a museum of ornamental arts. Ganj-Ali Khan Bath is also the most beautiful of its kind in Iran.

6) Crossing shape of Kerman Bazaar is a combination of organic and non-organic elements. Lar also has got a crossing shape Bazaar, but only Kerman is designed completely.

7) Kerman Bazaar has eastern and western wings with ca. lkrn of length (one of the biggest ones in Iran).

8) Ganj-Ali Khan Chahar Sough (a dome made of four acute angle domes) with twenty meters of height is one of the tallest among Iranian Bazaars and enjoys peculiar ornaments.