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The Underground City of Noosh Abad
Noosh Abad (or Nush Abad or Noush Abad) is located about 5 kilometers north of Kashan, in the central district of Aran va Bidgol County, Isfahan Province, Iran. Noosh Abad means the city of cold tasty water. It is well-known for its underground man-made city, called Ouee (or Ouyi), used as a shelter by inhabitants against invasions and attacks. It was dug up 4 floors underground 1500 years ago during Sassanid and pre-Islamic period. It was still in use during Seljuk and Safavid periods until Qajar era. It is a labyrinth of corridors, chambers and wells. The floors were related by vertical channels. The height of entrances (except the main one) is 170-180 centimeters (nearly the same as normal human height). Some channels (like qanat) that connect the first floor to the ground surface worked as air conditioners and entrances. It is registered on Iran National Heritage list. It’s the largest underground city in the world with an area of 4 square kilometers in depth of 4 to 18 meters. As people took refuge in this underground city while being attacked, there have been considered some places and spaces for both family live (like the air conditioning, the toilets, water and food supplies) and ambush against enemies. Each family had its own space. There were fat burning lamps at one meter intervals. Some of these lamps date back to more than 700 years ago.
Sizan Castle is another archaeological site in Noosh Abad. This mud brick fortification, with 9 towers, dates back to Seljuk period and is registered on Iran National Heritage list. It’s one of the most magnificent solid mud castles in Iran.
Other tourist attractions in Noosh Abad include its 20 qanats, parallel to each other, located about 15 kilometers north of Noosh Abad; Atiq Jame’ Mosque, said to be a fire temple before Islam, registered on Iran National Heritage list; Ishaq Abad Bridge dating back to Seljuk period; Matinabad eco-resort, the first and only eco-resort in Iran; Safavid water reservoirs and castles and the magnificent nature of the desert.
If you plan to travel to Iran, it is a good idea to pay a visit to Noosh Abad.