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Purpose meets artistry in Kerman, Iran: Wind towers and domed house roofs.
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Purpose meets artistry in Kerman: Wind towers and domed house roofs.

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Garden of Kerman, Iran.
Shah Nematollah Vali of Kerman, Iran.

Bagh-e Shahzade of Kerman, Iran.
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Bagh-e Shahzade.

Bagh-e Shahzade of Kerman, Iran.
Hammam of Kerman, Iran.

Ganj Ali square, Kerman, Iran.
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Ganj Ali square, Kerman. Photo: Mehrdad Jahanbakhsh.

City in southeastern Iran with 420,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), situated on a sandy plain 1749 metres above sea level. It is the capital of Kerman province with 2.4 million inhabitants (2005 estimate) and an area of 181,714 km².
Kerman is the largest carpet producing and exporting centre in Iran, but is also famous for its shwa. There are also industries like a cement plant, a textile factory, a cold-storage plant and a thermoelectric plant. The upland regions of Kerman produces cereals, cotton, sugar beets, oilseeds, fruit and vegetables. The warm regions produce rice, corn, henna and fruits. Kerman is a large producer of pistachios on the world market. The province is rich in minerals, like copper, coal, chromium, lead, zinc, uranium and aluminum, but mining has remained on a small scale. In recent times crude oil has been discovered, but is yet not exploited.
Kerman has road connections to Bandar-e Abbas 600 km south and Mashhad 1,200 km north and Yazd (also railway) 300 km northwest. There is also an airport.
The bazaar of Kerman is large and the city has a collection of old mosques, like the 11th century Mosque of the King.

3rd century CE: Kerman is founded by Ardashir 1 of the Sassanian dynasty.
1509: Is attacked and partly destroyed by the Uzbeks.
1720: Occupied by the Afghans.
1794: Shah Agha Muhammad Khan storms the city, sells 20,000 inhabitants into slavery and blinds another 20,000. Large parts of the city is destroyed, and he drives many of the citizens into temporary exile.
Early 19th century: The city is rebuilt under Fath Ali Shah.

By Tore Kjeilen