Kandovan Village, A Rocky Architectural Oddity in Iran
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Kandovan is an extraordinary ancient village in the province of East Azarbaijan, near the city of Tabriz, Iran.
Kandovan is a village that is not only famous for its scenic beauty, but also for its uniqueness that comes from the fact that many of its homes have been made in caves located in cone-shaped rock-formation; Thus making the whole village look like a gigantic termite colony.
This village exemplifies manmade cliff dwellings which are still inhabited by 670 people. The architectural history of Kandovan dates back to the 13th century. In this unique village, the homes are not just built on the mountain, but they are carved into it.
Built out of volcanic ash and debris spewed during an eruption of Mount Sahand, these rocky structures were compressed and shaped by natural forces into cone-shaped pillars containing pockets. They have been eroded by the elements over the years into their current shapes.
Most of the houses are two to four stores high. Legend has it that Kandovan's first inhabitants moved here centuries ago to escape the invading Mongol army.
Another interesting aspect is the fact that the rock acts as an energy efficient material, keeping the house cool during summer and warm during winter. This is why most of the inhabitants here do not use heaters or air conditioning systems.
Recently a hotel was built, inspired by and connected to the style of the village. The "Rocky Hotel" features beautiful cave interiors with very comfortable living spaces.
Source: Oruj Travel