22 March 2017

Impressions and Images of Iran: The Citadel of Rayen

When I went to southeastern Iran, I didn't visit just one adobe citadel, I visited two. I visited the Bam Citadel, as shown in my previous post, and I also visited the Citadel of Rayen (Arg-e Rāyen). This one was apparently relatively unknown until recently, after the 2003 Bam Earthquake destroyed Bam Citadel, and then suddenly people started paying attention to its neighbor.

Rayen is about an hour away from Bam, and so I visited it in the same trip. While Rayen is intact, and hasn't been destroyed by the earthquake, I must say that Bam had a better impact factor, given that Bam's location is definitely stunning. In Bam, you enter the main street, and you see the castle, towering in front of you, giving you a feeling of awe. Rayen on the other hand is more subdued, and when we parked the car, I didn't even know that such a citadel existed. It almost had the feeling of being hidden within the neighborhood.

The exact age of the citadel is unknown, but it is definitely more than 1000 years old. Apparently, it was abandoned for years, and only was rediscovered and restored from the mid-90s. The pictures above show you the sights one can see upon entering the citadel. As I mentioned earlier, there isn't much impact factor, as you immediately get plunged into the village. As usual, there is a division between the area for the normal folk, and the area that is behind the fortress walls. That you will see later.

The nice thing about Rayen is that you can climb some of the structures. Some of the buildings have accessible rooftops, as can be seen by the photos I have above. You can climb some of them so you can see the citadel in a different perspective.

Finally, you can see in the pictures above the Governor's Complex, which is a restored section of the castle inside the walled city. This complex actually is composed of four separate houses that are entered from a single courtyard, and every house pretty much has the same layout as the traditional houses that I have seen before. There is a huge contrast between the relative luxury of these lodgings with the rather simple and rural style of the commoner's houses outside the walls.

So, these are the two adobe fortresses that I have visited in southeastern Iran. Up next, the desert!


  1. Can't wait for the desert part! Such a unique environment. Again, reminds me of a sand castle.

    1. Zhu,

      Yep, this is definitely one of the most unique environments I have been to, and as you said, it looks like a giant sand castle. Everything is basically made with mud here!