News ID: 320729
Published: 1012 GMT April 03, 2022

Rayen Citadel: Impenetrable structure in Kerman Province

Rayen Citadel: Impenetrable structure in Kerman Province

The southeastern province of Kerman has so many historical monuments and natural attractions. It draws many tourists and travelers each year and fascinates everyone with its amazing history and nature.

Rayen Citadel, located about 100km south of the city of Kerman, is the most important ancient monument of the Sassanid Period (224 to 651 CE). The beautiful citadel is the second-largest adobe building of the country after Bam Citadel which is situated 193km of Kerman. Located on the East-West Highway and Kerman route to Jiroft, Rayen Citadel was one of the main centers of trading and business in several ancient periods. Rayen Citadel witnessed many historical events, reported.

Rayen Citadel is extending in an area of over 20,000 square meters and its architecture is very similar to Bam Citadel. Ruined and destroyed by natural and human factors in the past, the monument was rebuilt and refurbished several times. It is known as an impenetrable structure because no army could ever pass through its gates and it remained impenetrable in all wars occurred during its history.

Built entirely of raw clay, the citadel has only one entrance to its east side, which leads to the courtyard by a large and magnificent gate. Like all citadels of Iran, Rayen has two separate parts for the rich and ordinary people and includes several sections such as a zurkhaneh (traditional Iranian gym originally used to train warriors in ancient Iran), a mosque, a school and several barracks and stables. The citadel has also a section situated near the entrance gate where guards used to monitor and control peoples entry and exit. The entrance of the structure was also where the blacksmiths and knife makers used to work.

Various social classes of people lived in different parts of the citadel depending on their occupation and economic and social status. To keep Rayen Citadel safe, four 11-meter watchtowers were built around it and several artificial ditches were dug to protect the southern part of citadel from enemies. Even to ensure the health of its residents, the newcomers were quarantined so that the sick people would not be able to get inside.

One of the noteworthy and interesting things about Rayen Citadel that distinguishes it from other similar historical monuments is that about 5,000 people lived there until 150 years ago. Then the citadel gradually became desolated and the houses were destroyed. In 1995, the Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran decided to revive the former glory of the citadel and restore the old structure. As a result, a renovation project was implemented in the citadel and various parts of the monument were rebuilt.

Walking down the alleys of the great citadel, you can still smell the clay and dirt from its walls and imagine yourself as a resident of a 1,500-year-old monument which was never conquered by any king or army in history.

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