Abyaneh is a beautiful historic village at the foot of Karkass Mountain, 70 km to the southeast of Kashan and 40 km to Natanz. This is a village of living traditions, architectural styles (all in red clay), and probably the most interesting example of human adaptation to nature, wherein one can transcend the boundaries of time and space and experience the ancient civilization and culture of Iran.
The village is compact, with narrow and sloped lanes, and houses located on the slope as if built on a stairway. In Abyaneh, the roof of one house may serve as the courtyard of other house, higher up on the slope. The language spoken by the literate people of Abyaneh is Parthian Pahlavi. They are deeply committed to honoring their traditions. Although many youth work in larger cities, while back in Abyaneh the traditional costume is respected and worn. The women’s traditional costume consisting of a scarf with floral motifs and pleated pants is particularly attractive among that architecture and nature. The Abyaneh women are inseparably attached to her wedding gown inherited from her mother, and is expected to pass it on to her daughter. It bears such an intrinsic value for them that she wouldn’t sell it at any price.
The Old Houses:
There are many old houses in Abyaneh, among them the homes of Gholam Nader Shah and Nayeb Hossein Kashi are well known. In addition to the Zoroastrian fire-temple (from the Sassanian period) in the village, there are three castles, a pilgrimage site, and three mosques named Hajatgah, Porzaleh, and Jame, all worth a careful visit. Altogether there are eight mosques in the village.
The Old Mosque:
The Hajatgah mosque, built next to a rock, dates back to early Safavid period, according to an inscription on top of its door. Inside the mosque there is a beautiful nocturnal prayer hall with wooden capital pillars.
Built during the Illkhanid reign in the oldest part of the village, it has very vast nocturnal prayer hall. The ornamentations used here look very much like those of the tomb of Bayazid of Bastam, the great Persian mystic.
The Jame Mosque of Abyaneh:
It dates back to the eleventh century. There are a number of inscriptions and a manbar (pulpit) in the mosque. The interesting thing is that the pulpit has many features similar to the architectural elements and column heads seen in Persepolis.
- The first thing which strikes a visitor is the unique architecture. Just walking around and visiting local people with traditional dress and taking photo is a memorable experience.