City of Green and Red Gold, Second Qom
The city of Rafsanjan in Kerman Province borders Zarand in the north, Shahr-e Babak in the west, Sirjan in the southwest, Bardsir in the south and the provincial of Kerman in the east. The city has semi-arid climate with relatively warm, rainy summers and cold, snowy winters.
Rafsanjan or Bahramabad is said to have been founded by the Sassanid monarch Shapur II the Great (309-379 CE). In later times the city’s name was changed to Rafsanjan meaning ‘city with many copper mines’ or according to some accounts the ‘city washed away by floods’ as periodic floods are said to have destroyed this city several times throughout history.
The city has many historical attractions such as the Kaboutar Khan Caravanserai built by the Safavid (1501–1736) commander Ganjali Khan, who became the governor of Kerman in 1569, which is unique in that it has a watchtower at each one of its four corners, and the Old Wall of Rafsanjan which once encircled the city and had several watchtowers and four gates.
Some of the city’s most interesting historical sites were built during the Qajar era (1785-1925) including the Haj Ali Aqa House, which was built by a prominent Qajar merchant and is considered the biggest adobe residence in the world with 110 rooms, a water reservoir, a caravanserai and an icehouse simply known as Yakhchal-e Haj Ali Aqa. The 120-year-old Moradi Ab-Anbar (cistern) with its wind tower, water valves and flight of 52 stairs leading to its storage tank is another example of Qajar structures in Rafsanjan.
Some of the city’s natural attractions include Mount Poorkan, Qasem Abad Mineral Spring, which has therapeutic properties, Davaran Mineral Spring, Mirza Cave, which is a popular spelunking destination and has a drop of 90 meters, and the unique Rageh Canyon, which is a Geoprak formed by water erosion.
Rafsanjan is the top cultivator of pistachio in Iran. Rafsanjan’s high quality pistachio has garnered worldwide fame for the city.
Top things to do:
Top foods to try:
- Kash-o Bane- A dish made with wild pistachio and whey, dried mint and tarragon, served with local bread.
- Qatouq Gousht- A dish made with meat patties and tomato paste, served with lemon juice and bread.
- Rafsanjan Boz Ghormeh- A thick lamb soup made with chickpea, garlic, onion and whey, decorated with crushed walnut and fried mint, tarragon and onion.