Kandovan is an astonishing village located on the mountain flank of Sultan Daghi, Sabalan Mountain, located in Northwestern Iran. Kandovan Village is famous for its wonderful rocky architecture which is the result of volcanic activities and hand-carved structures. The inhabitants, basically, carved every room of the cliff houses like kitchens, halls, and even pens out of stone to make windows for the rooms and later, to decorate them with colorful glasses.
Kandovan Village is the only cave village still in use today
The remarkably unique Kandovan tells the story of peoples that escaped the invasion of the Mongols thousands of years ago to the slopes of the Sahand mountains. The escapees settled into this new land by hand carving houses into the side of the mountains that make up the only cave village still in use today.
There are two other cliff villages with similar structures in Turkey’s Cappadocia and US’s Manitou Cliff Dwellings in Colorado. However, these two cliff villages are not useful for living anymore and they leave Kandovan as the only inhabited cliff village in the world. Maymand Village in Iran, though, is another valley in cave dwellings carved out of soft rock. There are sharp pyramidal cliffs with holes on their irregular surfaces in this village which have been created due to volcano eruption in the summer region of the Sahand Mountain Range. The cliffs have shaped hive cells, also known as Karan. Geographical studies show the cliffs’ ages range from 700 to 1500 years.
Geographical studies show the cliffs’ ages range from 700 to 1500 years
Kandovan village has cold and long winter, which makes the village a safe shelter from hot and cold weather and also enemies’ invasion. Generally, Most of these Karans have two floors and in some cases, three and even four floors that are not related to each other from the inside. The rural people have created the house, home range, warehouse, and workshop for residential use within these cliffs. Multi-Story houses and stairways are generally intended to connect each floor to another. The village has every facility from a public bath, school, mill, and mosque.