Natanz an old village on the Hillside of Karkas(Vulture) mountain
Natanz County is recognized as high land within Isfahan Province and is surrounded by Karkas Mountain range from south to west. Although it neighbors a desert on the eastern side, it enjoys a fine and pleasant climate thanks to the peaks around it and the altitude. Although some marginal villages suffer from sand storms, other parts of this county are safe. Natanz is 3,392 sq.km with a population of over 45,000 people, located north of Esfahan and south of Kashan.
It includes 2 cities called Natanz and Badrud, 2 districts namely Markazi and Emamzadeh Agha Ali Abbas, plus 5 boroughs - Karkas, Targhrud, Barzrud, Khaled Abad and Emamzadeh - and finally 54 villages. The center of this county is the city of Natanz, 1.640 m above sea level and 110 km from Esfahan Agricultural products are wheat, barley, beans, onion, potatoes, cucumber, watermelon, melon, apple, apricot, black cherry, almonds, walnut, grapes, and pear. Natural springs and qanats supply water for agricultural needs.
Natanz is one of the most ancient cities of Iran. Thanks to its geographical position, most of the south commercial roads passed through Natanz, especially during the Sassanids. It was known as one of the two important highways of the capital during the Seljuks and the Safavids. Many of the kings were attracted to Natanz due to its pleasant climate. Natanz is favored by enormous mines including granite, marble, and travertine. Natanz granite is known worldwide. Farming is the second income source of this city. The aromatic pears from Natanz are well-known and considered as the main local delicacy.
Gonbad-e Baz; traveling to Natanz City via the Esfahan road, a glorious dome or tower on top of a hill, catches the eye. It dominates the western side of the city and is known as Gonbad-e Baz (meaning Falcon Dome). Actually it is an octagonal brickwork structure with an iwan arch on each side. It is rumoured to have had a dome over it, which subsequently collapsed however no proof of this remains. It is further said to have been named, in favour of Shah Abbas, a much revered falconer, buried a favourite bird here.
Beyond the prosperous green gardens of Natanz city centre, a high-rise minaret close to a pyramid-shaped brick dome comes into view, guiding visitors towards the Masjed Jame and Sheikh Abd os-Samad Khaniqah. The foundation of the mosque dates back to the time of Deylamids (10th century), subsequently it was restored during the Ilkhanate and converted to a four-porch mosque during the Safavids. This mosque has been badly damaged and not much of its plasterwork decorations are available but what are left are witness to its past grandeur. There are two covered brick areas of two storeys on the eastern, northern and southern sides, enhancing its beauty. Unlike the mosque, the minaret has kept its magnificence and artistic glory. It is from the Ilkhanate period, containing exquisite inlaid tile work ornamentations similar to that of Esfahan Bagh Ghushkhaneh and Dar oz-Ziafeh twin minarets. Fine turquoise and dark blue inlaid tiles along with beautiful pendentives on the crown of the minaret have added its beauty.
Sheikh Abd os-Samad Khaniqah
It is located, in front of some old plane trees, next to Natanz Masjed Jame. It boasts a magnificent high-rise portal, decorated with fine tile works in dark blue and turquoise colours, and some tile and brick inscriptions in Sols and Bannaei decorations. It is one of the most beautiful Ilkhanate portals of the 14th century. Its ultimate simplicity of ornamentation, observing the harmony of decorative elements, relief tile inscriptions in Sols, Bannaei and Kufic inside the false arches, as well as fine elaborate pendentives have made it one of the most beautiful portals of all Iranian monuments. The dome is an octagonal pyramidal shape, ornamented with tile work on the outer side, stucco work and brick inscriptions on the inner side, along with some gorgeous haft-rang tiles.
Mir Mosque Mihrab
It is a mosque with a high-rise portal and vaulted ceiling located in a comer in the western part of Natanz, bearing the same name Mir. Along with the portal, the stucco work mihrab is another valuable decoration of this mosque, ornamented with floral design and two brick inscriptions in Sols. The stucco mihrab is from the Seljuk period.
It is located to the south of Natanz, and was home to some precious historical attractions from Ilkhanate and Timurid dynasties. There are several historical monuments in this village, including the eight-sided tomb of Seyyed Hassan-e Vaghef in the form of a dome covered tower tomb, the tomb of Mir Seyyed, an octagonal construction with a turquoise dome (built at the foothill), Masjed Jame, hammam, sharbatkhaneh, a basement, abanbaar, khaniqah portal, and mausoleum.
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