Kerman - History


Kerman is as old as history. It is believed, that it has been founded as early as the 3rd century by Ardeshir I, founder of the Sassanian dynasty. Historical documents refer to Kerman as "Karmania," "Kermania" and "Zhermanya," which means bravery and combat. Geographers have recorded Kerman's ancient name as "Go'asheer" (Bardesheer).

In Islamic time, Kerman was one of the important cultural centres of Iran. Today the city (1991 pop. 311,643) is the capital of Kerman province, in east-central Iran. It is noted for making and exporting carpets. Cotton textiles and goats-wool shawls are also manufactured.

Kerman has had very little peace in its history. From the 7th century, it has been ruled by Arabs, Buyids, the Seljuks, Turkmens and Mongols in turn until the Qajar dynasty, when it was a victim of the barbaric Aqa Mohammad Khan. Throughout its history, Kerman has been chosen as the capital by different kings, but it was Ganj Ali Khan (1005 to 1034 A.D) during the Safavid era, who brought about the city's prosperity. Kerman was prospering under the Safavid dynasty (16th century) and suffering under the Afghans (17th century). In 1794 its greatest disaster occurred: Aga Muhammad Khan, shah of Persia, ravaged the city by selling 20,000 of its inhabitants into slavery and by blinding another 20,000. It was restored to security during the last century.

Marco Polo visited the city in the late 13th century and described the city.  

Reminders of historic Kerman include medieval mosques, the beautiful faience found among the extensive ruins outside the city walls, and 16th-century mosaics with Chinese motives. Nearby is the shrine of Shah Vali Namatullah, a 15th-century Sufi holy man. In last year there have been high endeavours for renovation of historical monuments of this province. Kermans twin sister is Yazd.

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