800-year-old qanat to turn into national museum

November 13, 2020 - 20:30

TEHRAN – The 800-year-old Bahaeddin qanat (underground aqueduct) in the central city of Ardakan is planned to be repurposed into a national museum.

The project also aims at promoting water and qanat tourism as one of the main tourism branches in the region as well as transferring the knowledge of building qanats to the next generations, CHTN quoted Mohsen Mirjani, Ardakan’s tourism chief, as saying on Thursday.

For thousands of years, qanat systems have supplied water to agricultural and permanent settlements in arid regions of Iran, tapping alluvial aquifers at the heads of valleys and conducting the water along underground tunnels by gravity, often over many kilometers.

According to UNESCO, qanats provide exceptional testimony to cultural traditions and civilizations in desert areas with an arid climate.

The qanat system relies on snow-fed streams, which flow down the foothills of surrounding mountains channeling through sloping aqueducts, often over far distances to discharge into the city’s underground reservoirs or ab-anbars. Such constructions are still in practice, many of which were made from the 13th century onwards.

The concept of “Persian Qanat” was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2016, representing eleven aqueducts across Iran. According to the UN cultural body, the qanat provides exceptional testimony to cultural traditions and civilizations in desert areas with an arid climate.

Some 120,000 qanats are documented across Iran and nearly 37,000 of which are still in use in the country.

Ardakan lies on the margins of the central desert in Yazd province. Historical structures such as qanats, windmills, badgirs (wind towers), caravanserais, mosques, and mansions constitute parts of its attractions.

ABU/MG

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