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Unauthorized Construction Work Threatening Historical Abyaneh




17 September 2005


The inhabitants of the historical village of Abyaneh have asked the Isfahan Province Governor’s Office to make efforts to halt the unauthorized construction currently underway in the village.

In a letter addressing the Isfahan governor general, they complained about the rascals and villains who come to the village for their vacations but do harm to the village and its inhabitants.


“They break branches and trees, pick fruit, and set up their tents in the way of passers-by, and sometimes even disturb the villagers,” reads part of the letter.


“The number of tourists visiting the village is over its capacity, which will surely lead to the destruction of the historical site. Many gardens and farms are being destroyed by the visitors, and there is no peaceful life for the villagers anymore. We are asking for a solution,” the villagers wrote in their letter.


Some organizations and foundations have begun construction work in the village. In response, the villagers have asked the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) to begin direct supervision of all construction operations in the village.


Officials of the Abyaneh Research Institute are currently preparing documents for the application for registration of the village on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


Located 70 kilometers southeast of Kashan in Isfahan Province, Abyaneh is home to living traditions of unique architectural styles and is one of the most interesting examples of human adaptation to nature.


The village is compact, with narrow and sloped lanes, and the houses are situated on terraces on a mountainside. The roofs of some houses are the courtyards of other houses higher up on the slope.  


Many of the buildings are inspired by Islamic and Zoroastrian architectural designs.  




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