TEHRAN, YJC. Kandovan is a village in north-western Iran where Mark Antony was not to see and turn defeatedly to Egypt toward Cleopatra, his demise. The village is a tourist site.
Kandovan is an ancient village tucked away in the
northwest corner of Iran at the foothills of Mount Sahand and near the city of
Tabriz. What makes the village so unique is that its homes have been carved
inside cone shaped rocks. The original substance for these unusual cone
formations consisted of volcanic ash and debris from an eruption of Mount
Sahand in the distant past. It was subsequently compressed and shaped into cone
towers by natural elements over thousands of years. This hardened material is
strong enough to function as the walls and floors of a house, whilst also
providing efficient insulation against the harsh cold of the long winter as
well as the summer heat.
Its fame is due to itstroglodytedwellings.Some
of the houses are at least 700 years old and are still inhabited. Kandovan is
also known for its scenic beauty. A popular resort, it offers hotels and
restaurants to serve tourists. Its mineral water is also popular with visitors
and is believed to be a cure forkidney disease.
Legend has it that
Kandovan’s first inhabitants moved there in the 13th century to escape from the
invading Mongol army. They dug hideouts in the volcanic rocks but eventually
decided to settle in these caves which they gradually developed and transformed
into multi-storey, permanent houses. Since then, many generations of their
descendants have continued living in the same houses.
The attractions of
Kandovan, however, are not restricted to its unusual cave dwellings. It is
located in a green and scenic valley where wild plants and particularly natural
spring waters are reputed to have healing properties. The spring waters which
are traditionally used to cure kidney problems draw many people from
surrounding towns and beyond to this area. The combination of Kandovan’s
natural landscape and resources, and above all the unique way in which its
inhabitants have adapted to the environment, has made it a popular destination
The site is not far from ancient Praaspa, the site where the legendary
Roman leader Marc Antony failed to capture in 36 BC. Antony’s expedition in
fact ended in disaster with heavy losses to the Romans in men and materiel.
Kandovan Tourism Cliff (Rocky) Hotel (5 star)
is located at the heart of the village. It is the first of its kind in Iran and
the second in the world after Turkey's rocky hotel.