Bam a bustling urban city situated in the Province of Kerman, this city that might not seem too out of the ordinary has a secret behind its walls, as there is an ancient structure not far from it. That structure or rather that ancient city is nothing but the Bam citadel (Arg-e-bam) it is situated not far from the city of Bam and is one of the highest and biggest mud brick structures in the world is the Citadel of bam has claimed its rightful place in the hearts of Iranians all over for very good reasons.
For Millennia, this structure was situated at the crossroads of the ancient Silk Road and roads leading its travelers into the heart of central Asia, the Persian Gulf and the ancient country of Egypt.
It is said that this area was at its best from the 7th century and all the way to the 11th at its heyday it was a massive, lively and colorful trade center and it contributed largely to the silk trade and industry, other industries such as cotton also faced much benefits from this fabulous ancient structure of trade.
The structure is full of peculiarities and delivers an unimaginable opportunity for eccentric imagination to the minds of those travelers wise enough to visit this ancient glory. The exotic structure of Arg-e-bam was said to have been established by the Sassanid empire and in the year 224-652 CE. The structure has gone through many changes throughout the years.
However, Arg-e-Bam Entered its glory during the Safavid era somewhere from the year 1502-1770 the structure of the citadel was extended and expanded far beyond the possibilities of its era.
During the Qajari Era, Aqa Mohamad Khan Qajar however used this structure as a stronghold to provide safety and insurance against the possible intentions of Afghan and Balochi Tribes.
It is commonly said by the locals that about a century ago the citadel ceased to be a residential era and started serving the people of Iran as a Military base up to the 1930s. The world heritage site status given to this Citadel spans over an area of 180.000 square kilometers, it is filled within ramparts of which rise as high as 7 meters in height.
The Arg itself sits on a rocky hill estimated to be 200 meters in height and is made up of three different Quarters, which is a historical proof of the rumors that at the time of its building social levels was practiced and practiced widely indeed.
The area which housed the guards and the middle class was behind the rampart, the area which housed the wealthy people and Finlay being the third was the highest point of this structure the citadel highest point hosted the rulers and was used as a lodging for any high ranking official whether domestic or international were also used to send signs to the surrounding area, using fire at night and smoke in the day.
The governor’s residence is rather a complex and interesting one; it consisted of a watchtower, a stable, a cistern, a windmill and not shocking a bathhouse.
A four-season mansion is a right title to give this residence, the governor’s house also had a mosque and it was common at the time to use the watchtower as a messenger to the surrounding area using fire in the dark times of the day and smoke in the sun.
Life in this oasis has been made possible thanks to wells and underground irrigation channels that brought water from the nearby mountains to this dry area. Several wells and a curved underground canal (Shotor Galu) also provided water for the citadel’s inhabitants. When the citadel was under siege, the deep moat around the citadel supplied enough water for the people.
Seeing what is left of the Arg it is easy to spot that the citadel used to host enclosed spaces that would be used as schools or otherwise known as Takia, a place for religious ceremonies, a bathroom, a gymnasium and a Bazar all were made under the same roof and with the same intention to serve the people to its best ability.
The boathouse is said to be dating all the way back to the Safavid dynasty and contains its own water reservoirs which are still usable till date!
The bazar used to be roofed and is located between the southern gates of the Arg and the Governor’s residence.
It is not hard to see that the residence of this citadel during its period of heyday from the 7th to 11th century had the best of what their time had to offer it won’t be too far fretted to say that perhaps it was heaven on earth in its day, things like a flowing tap of water a lifesaving option in our day to day lives taken granted by us