Historic Iranian Caravanserai Partially Wrecked by Construction Workers


By Azadeh Karimi


Construction workers have destroyed sections of a historic caravanserai (or roadside inn) at Qaleh Asghar, in the southeastern province of Kerman, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) has reported.

“Construction workers knocked down the section that had been added to the caravanserai in the 1970s, which had no historical value,” Mr. Shafiei, the deputy director of Kerman Province’s Cultural Heritage office, told the IRIB’s local affiliate TV station.

The Qaleh Asghar caravanserai dates back to the Qajar dynasty (1789-1906). It was listed as a national heritage site on March 14, 2005. Unfortunately, except for a few fuzzy TV screenshots, there are no clear pictures of the caravanserai available on social media.

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-عسگر-بردسیر

Still image of Qaleh Asghar historic caravanserai from Iranian TV. Source: Kayhan London

Sadly, the Qaleh Asghar caravanserai is not the first historic building that has sustained severe damage in recent months.

Restoration contractors working on the tomb of Yaqub ibn al-Layth al-Saffar (840–879 AD), the founder of the Saffarid dynasty (861-1003 AD), destroyed a wall at the ancient site by mistake, the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported. The tomb is in Dezful County in the southwestern province of Khuzestan.

On August 12, a fire destroyed three sections of the historic Mola Hossein caravanserai in the city of Qom (140 kilometers south of the capital Tehran), ISNA said. The building was part of the Bazaar of Qom, which dates back to the Safavid (1501-1736) and Qajar dynasties.


[Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi]