Abyaneh is one of Iran tourism attractions and the oldest village in Iran. Existence of the village returns 2,500 years ago. The word “Abyaneh”, has been derived from the word “viona” meaning a willow grove. It’s been known as an entrance to Iranian history as the locals are deeply committed to honoring their traditions.
It is a village in Barzrud Rural District, in the Central District of Natanz County, Isfahan Province. Abyaneh is a town 80 kilometers out of Kashan, at the base of the spectacular Karkas mountains. From the main road of Natanz – Kashan, there is a winding road that goes 22 km deep into the mountains, passes several villages, and reaches to a valley with a historic village sitting in it.
This ancient village is a live museum of Iran, preserved for its cultural heritage, traditions, and unique beauty, despite centuries of changing rules, dynasties, and kingdoms in Persia.
The Village is compact, with narrow and sloped lanes, and houses located on the slope as if placed on a stairway. The houses sit on the mountain slope facing east to receive the maximum sunlight and they are from Sassanid, Seljuks, Safavid, and Qajar eras. The houses bear an ancient architectural style, featured by the use of clay as the construction material and latticed windows and wooden doors. Similar to Masouleh.
Abyaneh, is also known as the Red Village because of its red soil. Houses in Abyaneh have a reddish color that comes from the soil around the village containing iron oxides.
One of the most interesting things that you can see in this amazing red village, is the beautifully carved wooden doors and door-knockers of most of the houses. If you pay close attention to some of these spectacular doors, you’ll notice a pair of door-knockers, one with a long shape, and the other with a circular shape, each with a distinct sound. One for male users and one for female users.
There is no evidence to indicate the exact date of the village but historians know that it has been around since Sassanid dynasty (700 AD) for sure. The village has a long history which dates back to more than 2,000 years ago and been registered on Iran’s National Heritage List since 1975.
Besides the charismatic beauty of the village, there are historic monuments as well. There is a Zoroastrian fire-temple dating back to the Sassanid period, three castles, a pilgrimage site, and two mosques. The most famous monument of Abyaneh is an 11th-century Jameh Mosque, with an ancient Mihrab made of walnut-wood covered with carvings of calligraphy and floral designs. Unfortunately the Jameh Mosque is closed and cannot be visited.
The oldest building in Abyaneh, Harpak Zoroastrian Fire Temple, was a true testament to the existence, growth, and advancement of the once-isolated village and its people.
The local clothing for example is in a style of great antiquity. The women’s traditional costume typically consists of a white long scarf (covering the shoulders and upper trunk) which has a colorful or floral pattern and an under-knee skirt or pleated pants.
Almost all the women in the village wear this costume, just like their ancestors. And this tradition makes Abyaneh even more special. When you go visit Abyaneh, you would notice that most of the population are rather old. It’s because the young generations prefer to migrate to bigger cities to have a better opportunity to make a life.