BIRJAND , the Land of Culture and Art
Birjand city, with an area of 31,704 square kilometers is located at the East of Iran and about 500 km from the provincial capital of Khorasan, Sistan and Baluchistan, Kerman and Yazd. This city is limited to Qaen from the North, to Nehbandan and Kerman Province from the South and to Sarayan and Khoosf from the West and to the city of Darmian from the East.
Birjand is the first city in Iran that has the water supply organization and Ablole Water pipe agency of Birjand is known as the first water supply organization in Iran. This is also the first city in Iran which had municipal water plumping before Tehran in 1923.
Shokatiyeh School in this city has been the third school with new style of training, after Darolfonon and Roshdieh Tabriz. Due to the political and strategic position of the city of Birjand, the third airport in the country, after Qalemorghi and Bushehr, was built in this city in 1933 and until World War II, both Britain and Russia Consulates had been working in Birjand.
In the past, Birjand has been a part of Ghaheston Province. According to Achaemenid inscriptions and writings of Greek historians, Ghaheston was considered the origin of one of the Iranian tribes called Sagarthians and a part of the fourteenth Achaemenid satrap. Jangle callus inscription shows the importance of the region. In the Sassanid era, Ghaheston has been also one of the habitable and reliable states. Lakh stone engravings of tombs in Kouch Village of Birjand contain texts in Pahlavi Sassanid calligraphy in which the names of Khshnvaz, Hptali king, and Ghobad, the Sassanid King, are seen. After conquering Ghaheston by the Arabs in AD 29, Ghaheston was governed by caliphs and was dominated by the Abbasids till AD 259. It was also a part of the domain of Saffarids and Sistan local rulers for a while. From the time of Hassan Sabbah to the attack of Hülegü Khan Mongol's army, the region became one of the major political centers of Ismailis and after Alamut; it was the headquarters of the sect's devotees who were destroyed by Hülegü’s attack. In recent centuries, i.e. from Safavids dynasty on, the history of Birjand has been mixed with the name of Khozeimeh dynasty.
Characteristic Historical Attractions:
1-Kolah Farangi Fort
National Registeration Number: 1880, age: Qajar Address: Government Building; Motahhari St. ; Birjand.
The “Kolah Farangi Fort” was a place for the government of “Amir Masum Khan” built at the beginning of the “Zandi” era. The architectural form of this construction is completely different from all other buildings. The building has six floors but only two floors have areas and the other floors are only built for the external appearance, which is located over a springhouse. Part of the ground floor is in a square formation with several rooms surrounding it. On this floor; there are four vestibules with a symmetrical form, which are the most essential part of the building. The springhouse is in the form of an octagonal, which is surrounded by a partition, benches and a pond in the center, and a dome with painted decorations and elegant ornaments above. All of this adds to its glory. The second floor consists of an octagonal, with rooms surrounding and above the flooring are only symbolically decorated with the use of small windows to provide light to the springhouse. This is called the “Pavilion” and in Persian “Kolah Farangi”. Based on the information of old documents, part of the yard and garden were to the shape of the “Chahar bagh” (Four gardens), but because of some changes to the complex, the original form has been lost.
National registration number: 1371, age: Qajar, Address: Old Post Alley, Montazeri 3 St., Birjand
This building is built in single-porch and two-story style and is considered as the largest historical Mounth of Birjand. Its architectural elements include two entrances with decorative Mogharnas, vestibules, corridors leading to the apron, apron, spring house, rooms and porches around a courtyard.
The most important part of Shokatiyehis its porch which has two filler kleel arch which has been created on a wide opening. This building was built in 1932, the. Ordered by Ismail Khan, the first Shokat-al-molk, in order to hold Muharram mourning ceremonies and in 1947, after Darolfonon was established in Tehran and Roshdieh was established in Tabriz, through the initiative of Muhammad Ibrahim Khan, the second Shokat-al-molk, it was selected to establish the first new school of Birjand. Now, this work is used only as the religious site.
National registration number: 5164, Age: Qajar, Address: Birjand, Jomhouri Eslami St., Imam Hussein (AS) Sq.
The castle is located on a natural hill in Jomhouri Eslami Street ofBirjand (Islamic Republic Street), and its map is quadrilateral with four circular towers at the four corners and two towers on the western and eastern sides. This castle has two entrances on the north and west sides and an area of about 2500 square meters. The internal space of the castle included several architectural buildings and elements in the past which has been completely destroyed over time and the interior space has been formed into a field and a space surrounded between fences and towers. The materials used in that are clays, muds, and clay walls. According to the archaeological excavations conducted at this site, it can be said that Birjand Castle has been established in the Safavid era and has been reconstructed in Qajar era and some repairs have been applied in its northern side and towers.
4-Akbarieh Garden and Mansion
Iran -Southern Khorasan - Birjand
Longitude: 59° 13' 40" E- Latitude: 32° 51' 10" N
The “Akbarieh Garden” and joining buildings attracts us more than other monuments and puts questions to every visitor so that one involuntarily tends to look and praise the architect and the constructor of its grand building and glorious garden. The garden and two part building have been built and constructed in the grounds of 35,000meters square. One part of the building was built in the “Zandi” era and the other in the early part of the “Pahlavi” era. Its decorations include a hall of mirrors, the main middle house a skull capped arched dome decorated with officially lined paintings etc. Bearing in mind that the building was first build and used as a Government house, the garden comes into the category of a governmental garden. At the present time the traditional dinning room and the valuable museum containing archaeological, anthropological and wildlife specimens are included in the complex so that visitors fond of historical monuments and momentous of the ancient city of “Birjand” can be seen and preserved in the mind. Garden and building Akbaryeh thirty- fifth session of Word Heritage Committee (June 2011 - Paris), was registered on UNESCO Word Heritage List. Serial ID Number: 1372 – 009 Date Inscribed: 2011
5-The Complex and Mansion of “Rahim-Abad”
The complex of “Rahim-abad” is located in a village of the same name in the city of Birjand. “Rahim-abad” garden has two entrance doors. This historical complex of “Rahim-abad” consists of a surrounding fence, watchtowers, garden, main building,water pond house, “Kolah-farangi” construction, stables, and service quarters. The triangle shaped fencing of the garden are relics of towers and a solitary tower to the northeast have been completely destroyed. The main street of the garden is situated between two constructions and is in conjunction linear with two ponds, one lake and trees on two sides of the way is separated from two other points. This form is one of the Iranian Paradise models.
6-The Garden Complex and the Large Building of “Shokat-Abad
The garden complex and the large building of “Shokat-abad” is located in the village of Shokat-abad and is at a distance of 5 km southeast of Birjand. This complex consists of a surrounding fences, watch towers, high entrance doors, main construction, water pond house, orangery, and garden, stable and servants quarters. Totally the construction of the “Shokat-abad” garden was built on a hill and the gardens are situated on the southern and eastern sides. The south side of the complex has separate rooms and has services for the residents of the garden and the Lord and family members used the internal quarters for reception and formal use. The construction of the southern side of “Shokat-abad” is linear from the east to west by monotone form. Another attraction of this building is its internal connectivity by the use of corridors, hallways and rooms. One of the important constructions is the “Orangery” which is located at the near of the main building. This building is an internal garden, which was used for the privation of the governor and his family. The trees in the courtyard were planted in an orderly manner and have connecting ways towards each other coming together with an intersection of surrounding flower beds. The existence of a lake and a waterway makes the facility for irrigation of the trees. The trees in the garden complex consist of Pomegranate, Vines, Apple, Pear and other decorative trees like Cypress tree, plan tree, aspen and pine trees. The history of this complex dates back to the “Qajar” era.
7-The Fort and Garden of “Bahlgerd”
The fort and garden of “Bahlgerd” is located in the village of Bahlgerd on the route from Birjand to Zahedan, at 30km northeast of Birjand. The “bahlgerd Garden” and fort complex include
s different parts, such as: - The Entrance, Interior Vestibule Yard, Servant House, External Yard and Stable. The entrance door to the garden is made of simple plain wood doors decorated with spherical flowers. The entrance consists of narrow and shallow arches. The interior yard is a vast area. A square pool is situated at the center of the yard and the interior construction of the garden is located at the southern side and consists of two floors. The external yard is linked to the center of the garden, consisting of elementary and beautiful architectural construction. “Bahlgerd Garden” was built from south to north with the best use of the land. The important characters of this garden are the internal and external and the use of the plant coverage. “Bahlgerd Fort” and garden was built as a resort and country house for the local governor in the “Qajar” era.
8-The Garden and Large Building of “Amir-abad”
The garden and large building of “Amir-abad” is located in the Amir-abad village, 5 km. , to the west of the city of Birjand. The elements of the complex consist of a garden, building and servants headquarters. The garden has streets to all sides of the building. The Main construction is situated in the center of the garden and consists of two floors and has a plan of eight ribs, which its entrance is on the eastern side and then there are stairs at the front of the entrance. There is a corridor to the water pond house at the center of the building. The upper floor was the king’s residence with a cross form, which has a doorway and windows in a semicircle form. The appearance of the construction has been decorated with brick in geometrical figures. There are many types of herbaceous like pines, cypress trees, plane trees, barberry, and different species of pistachio, fig trees, jujube trees etc. can be found. The garden and the large building of “Amir-abad” were built in the “Qajar” era and were registered on the national list of Cultural Heritage with serial number of “1969.”
9-Aliabad Garden and Pavilion
National registration number: 3679, Oldness: Qajar, Address: Aliabad village, 35km to the northeast of Birjand
Aliabad Garden and Pavilion are located 35 kilometers to the northeast of Birjand-Zahedan road, in the Aliabad Desert and in a village called the same. The presence of fences and guard towers at several hundred meters of the pavilion indicates the importance of this garden and village. Aliabad Garden and Pavilion have belonged to Sepehri family, from the executives of local rulers of the region.
Overall, this set includes garden, main pavilion, interconnected buildings for residence of crew, workers and guards, bathroom and kitchen which has created a space separated from the rest of the building. The building has been designed and constructed at two floors of first and the ground floor. The ground floor of this building is quadrilateral with large spaces, rooms, center home and barn which has different uses in need. The first floor more includes summer and winter rooms. Aliabad Garden has a main core at two sides of which pine trees are seen and the pavilion is located at the distance from the main axis of the garden. Garden plots are located in a relatively regular form at both sides of the Main Street.
Valley Sluice (Band-e-Darreh)
National registration number: 4816, Oldness: Qajar, Address: 7km to south of Birjand, Birjand
The historical sluice of Valley is established at the time of Heshmat Al-molk and its construction can be considered coincident with the oldest building of Akbarieh Garden series, and in fact, the oldness of the sluice is historically dating back to the late Zandieh era and early Qajar era. Also, this sluice has been once repaired and refurbished during the time of Amir Shokat-al-molk Alam (1921-1985), the ruler of Ghaheston in the Qajar era. The building of this sluice has been formed followed by the fissures in the mountains and in the most appropriate part of the lower valley on the sedimentary levels at the riverbed. The sluice has a height of 15.5m from the riverbed, which is 35 meters long and its intake tower has been reconstructed 9 meters away from edge of the western mountain, on its body.