Magnificent Bam citadel is located in the southeast of Lut desert and near the city of Bam. This unique adobe structure is one of the most famous attractions of Kerman province, which is registered in the list of UNESCO World Heritage and National Monuments of Iran. Bam citadel has been one of the defense structures and throughout history it has protected the eastern regions of Iran like a strong fence.
This structure was considered the largest adobe structure in the world until the terrible earthquake of 2002 in Bam.
The great Bam fortress has a citadel that is located in its highest part; Because of the grandeur of this citadel, the whole fortress was called a citadel. Bam citadel was located on the Silk Road and provided the possibility of connecting Iran with Central Asia, the Persian Gulf and Egypt.
The ancient city of Bam citadel is a collection of tall buildings that includes two parts, the serfs and the government. Each structure has its own function. This citadel has an area of about 18,000 square meters and walls with a height of 6 to 7 meters are built around it. These walls are nested and separate the center and different parts of the citadel.
The historical magnificent Bam citadel, which is more than 2,500 years old, has played an important role in the history and culture of Iran. This citadel has repeatedly prevented invaders from attacking Iran.
There are many speculations about the age of the bass drum; Some date it to the Achaemenid period and some to the Parthian period. A large number of buildings in it were built in the Timurid to Qajar period. According to historical writings, the age of this citadel reaches two thousand years ago, and the clays discovered in the ruler’s house are a proof of this claim.
Multiple building layers indicate successive constructions in different periods. The architecture of the citadel is one of the cases of estimating the building’s age. The porch of the citadel mosques is similar in dimensions to the structures of the 4th to 7th centuries, i.e., the Samanid to Seljuk period. The architecture of the entrance arch of the citadel is also similar to the style of the Sassanid era and it is attributed to this period. Documents about the campaigns of the first Sassanid king (Ardeshir Babakan) in the late Parthian period to Bam region.
Bam Citadel is built in the shape of a small city with a strong fortress to prevent enemy infiltration in addition to establishing security in the city. The magnificent Bam Citadel is similar to many examples in Central Asia and Mesopotamia and has the structural features of a Hippodamian city. According to the traditions of the Medes and Parthians, the citadel was built on a high hill to make it difficult for enemies to access it and to increase the control over the surrounding areas. The materials used in this 2,500-year-old adobe castle are clay, straw and raw clay, which has preserved its original skeleton over the centuries. The strength and grandeur of the magnificent Bam citadel caused it to be called “the citadel of God created” in the Qajar period.
This region has high heat and low humidity, so the citadel was built in a place with the highest amount of wind; The wind enters the citadel from the western part and passing through the corridors, it goes to the ruling part. Engineers used the water supply system and windbreaker to cool the citadel and passed the wind flow through this water supply system to reduce the air temperature of the citadel.
A very large tower and rampart surrounds Bam Castle. 29 watchtowers have been built at indefinite intervals on the hills of this place and 76 watchtowers have been built in the city. Trapezoidal apertures were built in the tower to observe the city, which widened the field of vision and greatly limited the possibility of arrows passing through and injuring the guards.
One of the unique features of the magnificent Bam citadel is its four fences. The first fence is 18 meters high and it protected the people from the attack of the enemy and its width is more than 6 meters in some places. Watchtowers were also built into the fences so that, in addition to strengthening the fence, it would be a place for officers and guards to rest.
The houses of the citadel are normal, semi-noble and noble. Smaller houses belonged to poor people and had two to three rooms. Houses with three to four rooms and verandas were reserved for the middle class of society. Noble houses were equipped with water wells, stables and private bathrooms. The ruler’s house, at a height of 61 meters, was made of two parts, summer and winter room.
The initial wall of the city consisted of four large gates. After closing the gates, it was not possible for any animal or human to enter it. The existence of gardens, water wells and domestic animals inside the citadel allowed people to live behind closed gates for a long time.
The capacity of the stable area was about 200 horses. The stable is considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the citadel, which is decorated with plasterwork from the Mughal and Timurid periods.
The wonders of the Bam citadel
In the architecture of the houses, ventilation was built in, which directed the wind into the house and cooled the space like a natural cooler. The presence of small ponds was in the direction of the wind, in addition to cooling the air, it removes dust, and this is a unique architectural style. The magnificent citadel is Bam.
After the earthquake of 2002, bones were thrown out of the citadel wall, which included 68 bodies of children and babies, whose age dates back to many years ago. According to research, this castle was used to bury the bodies of children from the Safavid era until recent years. There are patterns on children’s shrouds that are not in accordance with Islamic laws, and apparently, in the past, people with different religions lived in Arg Bam. It is said that the age of the bodies is related to the restoration of the citadel fence after the attack of Afghans to the Qajar period.
Visiting this magnificent castle and getting to know the unique architecture of this castle will be very enjoyable and will create a unique travel experience for you. According to the weather of Kerman province, the best time to visit the magnificent Bam citadel is during the cool seasons of the year.