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Restoration of Parthian Kariz in Kish Island Underway


News Category: Arsacid Dynasty

 02 October 2004



The underground city in the Persian Gulf Kish Island, known as Kariz, will be restored and  expanded using traditional and modern architecture styles.

Mohammad Ali Raoufi, architect of the project, told the Persian daily Iran, "Once the location is expanded, not the whole adventure would end under the ground. Rather, once they are out of, the visitors would be guided to a castle from atop which they can enjoy a beautiful view of the whole Kariz and the island."

He explained that the underground area approximates 18,000 square meters and said, "The tunnels and passages inside the Kariz, which is an ancient aqueduct, have been designed in a way that visitors would easily lose their sense of direction. This is aimed to make the journey more fascinating. Once they are out from a several-hour tour, they can hardly tell the right direction."

He estimated that completion of the project would last through 2006.

The unique project is funded privately by an Iranian residing in Germany, Mansour Haji-Hosseini, who has a profound love for his native country and culture.

"The 2,000-year-old Parthian aqueduct, known in Iran as Qanat and Kariz, displays a matchless architecture style and precision that is fascinating to both Iranian and non-Iranian visitors. The fossils in the place are believed to date back between 250 and 560 million years," he explained.

"Thanks to the local managers' cooperation and the private entrepreneur's enthusiasm, a large surface area has been designed where special ceremonies and festivities of various Iranian ethnic groups will be displayed. We have been trying to display the splendor of Iranian historic architecture inspired by ziggurat and other ancient symbols."

People who were living on Kish Island centuries ago, with their inherent Iranian intelligence and talent in building aqueducts, dug the coralline layers of Kish Island in search of potable water, and were rewarded with fresh water. For centuries afterwards, the sweet water of Kish Island not only relieved the thirst of local residents, but was also exported to neighboring states and swapped with sugar or cash.


The Kariz is a unique phenomenon in the world. The visitors will have the choice either to walk inside or to sail in power/pedal boats and see its beauties.



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