0152 GMT November 27, 2021
A file for the global registration of long-lived trees, with a focus on the 4500-year-old Cypress of Abarkuh, is underway, an official from the central province of Yazd said, adding that the cypress is the oldest living creature in Iran.
The head of Abarkuh Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department, Hamid Moshtaqian, briefed the Iran Daily reporter on the details of the global registration process of the Cypress of Abarkuh, saying the tree is the second natural monument in the country, after Mount Damavand, which was registered as a National Heritage Site. The mountain was registered on July 20, 2008, as the first natural monument of Iran.
The age of this ancient tree has been registered as being between four and eight thousand years, but it is generally referred to as the 4,500-year-old cypress, he said.
The tree is located in the city of Abarkuh, in the central province of Yazd.
According to Moshtaqian, during the past year, the file of global registration of this ancient tree has been followed in a new format as the registration of “long-lived trees in the country”.
The filing of this case has been continuing for one year and its global registration follow-up committee has been formed in the province’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department, he explained, adding that experts are completing the file.
Pointing out that Yazd is one of the richest regions of the country in terms of long-lived trees, Moshtaqian explained that there are many drought-tolerant trees in the province due to the region’s dry climate, and their global registration process is underway.
The head of Abarkuh Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department also said the city of Abarkuh, with numerous heritage and cultural monuments, is among the 14 top tourist destinations in the country.
To date, 400 historical monuments have been identified in this city, 150 of which have been registered on UNESCO’s National Heritage List.
Moshtaqian added, “The first, second, and third nationally registered monuments in Yazd Province belong to the city of Abarkuh.”
Gonbad-e Aali, Minarets of Nezamiyeh Mosque, and Jaame Mosque of Abarkuh were registered as national monuments in 1934, he said.
Referring to the location of Abarkuh as being among the three sides of Iran’s tourism triangle, he explained that Isfahan, Fars, and Yazd provinces, as the three sides of this triangle, attract the largest number of foreign tourists every year, noting that the city enjoys a high tourism capacity.
Moshtaqian described the historical section of Abarkuh as one of the valuable areas of the province, saying, “The area of the historical section of Abarkuh is 160 hectares, which includes ten historical neighborhoods with several historical monuments.
Referring to the Sassanid Era stone ditches as the most important historical monument in the city, the provincial official said, “In fact, the architecture of this city is based on stone; most of the historical section of Abarkuh is built on a bed of stone, and this type of architecture is unique in the province and even in the country.
He explained that due to the region’s special geographic location and its plain shape, in the past people built castles to ensure the security of villages and cities.
Today villages in the region are known by the names of their castles: Tizok, Shahraz or Shahrasb, Haruniyeh, Firooz Abad, and Ahmad Abad, which are among the historical castles of the region.
Shahraz Castle, with an area of nearly 17,000 square meters, is one of the largest and most exquisite castles in the country, Moshtaqian said.
This unique castle consists of two nuclei of the Safavid and Qajar periods. Due to the increase in population, a larger castle has been formed around the older castle, giving it a special and unique shape.
The tourism industry in Iran has a very high potential for growth and development. According to the Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Ali-Asghar Mounesan, the country stands at ninth rank, with 24 registered tangible cultural heritage sites, and at seventh rank, with 16 registered intangible cultural heritage sites on the UNESCO list.
According to the World Tourism Organization, Iran ranks fifth in the world in terms of natural attractions.