12 December 2016

Impressions and Images of Iran: Khāneh-ye 'Abbāsihā (Abbāsi House) in Kashan

The Abbāsi House is located in Kashan, a small city by the edge of the Dasht-e Kavir desert, and is known for having several traditional houses. These houses are now museums, and are open to the public. Visiting them provides a good glimpse into Iranian architecture. I visited several of them during my stay, and the first one I visited was the Abbāsi House, built by a wealthy glass merchant. You will see several features of Persian architecture here.

These pictures show the several courtyards linking a total of six buildings. The courtyards make explicit a design feature I have seen here, that is, making rooms partially underground. As we have earlier seen in the Masjed-e Āghā Bozorg, the courtyard is half underground, making the rooms surrounding the lower-most level actually beneath surface level. This building technique is also done here.

There are public and private sections of the house: the public section is where visitors are entertained, and the private section is reserved for the family. There are even separate entrances for visitors and insiders. One thing to notice is the immense attention to detail, which is visually intoxicating, I must say.

I must say that the interior areas are my most favorite part of the house: these areas fully showcase the design capabilities of the Persians, and they simply mesmerize the viewer I must say. Look at the ceilings, which all have intricate geometric designs, they just are a sight to behold.

This was the first of several houses I visited in Kashan. Stay tuned for the rest.


  1. I understand what you mean by "visually intoxicating"! These patterns are amazing, though. Was it busy when you visited? It looks like you are the only soul around, but I know photos can be misleading.

    1. Zhu,

      Oh it wasn't busy at all. Iran isn't a high-traffic destination, and Kashan isn't a city that most people go to. In fact, most people tend to skip it, traveling between Tehran and Isfahan.

  2. Wow! Look at those patterns! It's really mesmerising to look at :)

    1. Charles,

      Totally! Almost every building I saw in Iran is like that!