Kerman - Adobe City

Kerman and mountains with snow. A view across Kerman with its backdrop of snow covered mountains Houses blend into the hillside. The seamless juxtaposition of hill and house renders then indistinguishable Kerman, for geopolitical reasons, is on the way to nowhere. It is (or at least was in the 1970s) an extraordinary city - undisturbed by the passing of centuries - a medieval place in a desert landscape, remote, forgotten, untouched. Rooftops in Kerman city. A city built of sun-dried brick This sense of being untouched comes partly from the way the city seems to emerge from the ground, and out of the hills that surround it; it is exactly the colour of the earth from which it was built; the colour of sun-dried bricks. Our word 'adobe' - un-burnt brick - comes from the Arabic for bricks, via the Spanish for plaster. Lanes and an alley. The tight lanes between the houses dwindle to allies so narrow it is hard to pass another person Dust cloud over city. Desert cities mean dust, seen here hanging like pollution in the clean air Entrance iwan of friday Mosque. The entrance iwan of the Friday Mosque Although the dominant impression of the city is one of dust and sand, there are also the mosques and tile work that all Iranian cities posses. The main mosque of a city is conventionally called in English the Friday or Congregational Mosque - Jameh in Persian. Main iwan of the Friday Mosque. Main iwan of the Friday Mosque Muqarnas of the main iwan. Detail of the muqarnas of the ceiling of the entrance iwan The courtyards of Mosques commonly are designed with four iwans, one on each side. Here the entrance iwan has a clock and a fine example of a type of cascading vaulting called muqarnas. Gardens and the city. How could a camera stay away from a cityscape of mud brick and mountain? Isfahan rooftops. The trees of Kerman jump from their surroundings just like those of an oasis A traditional coutyard. Houses are built around courtyards, unmodernised like this one... Modernised courtyard and garden. ...or with the addition of windows and gardens as in this picture The big problem for life in southern Iran and on the Persian Gulf are the high temperatures. A key element in the war on heat, in vernacular building, was the Bad Gir or wind grabber. These are chimneys, often of considerable height, which by offering an opening to the wind guided it down through the house and so created a life preserving draft in towns where 45 degrees centigrade is not uncommon. Wind grabbers on the city skyline. Wind grabbers on the Kerman city skyline A Shiraz wind grabber. Closeup of shiraz wind gabber Kerman cityscape with mosques. Kerman: rock, dust, mud bricks and a scattering of domes to remind the visitor of the culture The next page takes you to the Buddhist complex in the wet rolling country by Eskdalemuir in southern Scotland. Main shrine room at Samye Ling. line
Saturday 16th July 2016 Murphy

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