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    Kariz underground city

    / 2500 years ago
    Kish - Kariz underground city


    • Price: 5 $
    • Best Time to Visit: Autumn ,Winter and spring
    • Working Hours: 9 A.M to 10 P.M
    • How to get there: by taxi near the Hotel
    • Plan Your Visit: Maximum 2 hours

    The kariz of Kish or Kish Qanat is said to built about 2500 years ago by the inhabitants of Harireh city. Before the Roman aqueduct, the people of pre-Islamic Iran had developed their own hydraulic system called a qanat. A qanat is a series of vertical wells, built along a gentle slope to filter water toward arid areas. The Kish Qanat is an excellent example of this ancient technology and provides visitors with an opportunity to get face to face with the infrastructure of this amazing hydraulic system. This structure was built to collect, purify, and store water for the inhabitants of the island. As the island is situated in a region with an arid climate, this is essential for their survival and provided the islanders’ drinking water.  Today, it has been transformed into an amazing underground city, with an area of 10 000 square meters. This city is located 16 meters under ground .Its ceilings are eight meters high . The coral roof of Kariz in Kish, with seven meters in diameter, which once was seabed, is replete with shells and aquatics which are now fossilized on the roof. Tests conducted at the University of Munich, Germany, on the fossils taken from the coral roof of the tunnel show that the roof belonged between 530 to 570 million years old, which the identification of different types of it is going to be exhibited in the museum of the underground city of Kish (Kariz) and all of them have official IDs. The underground city of Kish (Kariz), dues to its unique properties such as coral islands, freshwater aqueducts, cool air under the ground, and coral ceiling full of ancient fossils, is placed in the list of the most important structures of the world. 

     The ground above Kariz will be transformed into a large park with two high hills.  These hills are from the excavated grounds of Kariz and will turn into a unique view of Kish Island. it must be said that the earth excavated from Kariz has much medicinal value and will have abundant use in “mud treatment”. And now, Kariz has opened up a new exceptional chapter for all nature lovers who are able to visit the largest coral collection directly.

    In the structure of Kariz city, at first water would have been collected from interconnected wells in an area of 14 km². Using the principle of differential pressure, water from the wells was raised from the water table to the kariz. The water was then conducted to a central filter shaft. This shaft was filled with three layers of filter material. The top layer was coral gravel, which filtered the bigger solids brought along by the water, and neutralized the water’s acids. The next layer was coral grit with clay, and this filtered the finer solids. The last layer consisted of marn, a special sort of clay which filtered the finest solids. As different ‘grades’ of water would be suitable for different usage. The inhabitants of Kish would collect water from different heights of the filter shaft. Since the best quality of water was found at the bottom, this was used for drinking. On the other hand, water that went through the first layer of filtration would have been good enough for the irrigation of agricultural fields. Interestingly, there were also underground tunnels that allowed small boats to enter at the lowest level and collect drinking water from the lowest well. 

    The kariz of Kish was abandoned a long time ago, and was forgotten by the inhabitants of the island. In addition, modern technology has made the water filtration process much more efficient, which means that the ancient system would have been obsolete anyway. In 1999, the island embarked on a project to build an underground shopping complex. This resulted in the rediscovery of the ancient kariz. Instead of demolishing the kariz to make room for the shopping complex, the developers decided to incorporate the latter into the former. While the historic coral walls that surround the kariz were left on their own, the tunnels were reinforced with modern mortar and stone. This combination of ancient and modern served to create a unique subterranean world. This ancient structure is further modernized by the presence of shops and restaurants, traditional teahouses, amphitheatres, conference centers, and even art galleries. Nevertheless, the developers have not forgotten the kariz’s ancient function, and it is once more fulfilling its role as a water filter, although the filtered water is used mainly for irrigation purposes.


    Freshwater of Kariz comes from seasonal rainfall of the island that crosses through corals as natural filter and flows into the layers of marl mud. Marl is a kind of clay mud that is normally soft and flexible and if exposed to air becomes dry and firm. In cultural tourism complex of the underground city of Kish (Kariz), walls are built in front of these valuable clays to protect them. In addition to the treatment usage of marl clay for arthritis, it is used with additional compounds for producing bricks, pottery and cement in particular. 



    Notes & Recommendations:

    This complex has different section including traditional and modern restaurants, amphitheater, conference hall, art galleries and handicraft shops.Also, there is a group for playing Iranian traditional music that you can enjoy it a lot.


    • Web Site: www.karizkish.com
    • Tell : 076444473900

    About Us

    The word Persia gives the image of a magical and mysterious land of far away and long ago, of ancient monuments and beautiful works of art – carpets, tiles, fine ceramics and miniatures. It also reminds us of legendary and tragic love stories and epic poems about great wars. And Persia is indeed a world ancient and contemporary, a bridge between heaven and earth. We want to show you around. Discover things to do on your next trip to Iran and plan a trip of your lifetime. Yes, it is that easy! This website gives you the tools to plan your trip to Iran: detailed information on destinations; inspiring ideas on what to see and do in each city; where to stay; where to eat; travel guides and let’s say everything you need so you can dream up a trip to Iran.


    This workshop is designed according to the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme in order to give young people a chance to voice their concerns and to become involved in the protection of our common cultural and natural heritage. It seeks to encourage and enable tomorrow’s decision-makers to participate in heritage conservation and to respond to the continuing threats facing our World Heritage. The idea of involving young people in World Heritage preservation and promotion came as a response to Article 27 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention). Furthermore, Patrimonito means 'small heritage' in Spanish and the character represents a young heritage guardian. Patrimonito has been widely adopted as the international mascot of the World Heritage Education Programme.
    Date: 29th December
    Number of trainees: 7
    Duration: 3 hours

    The workshop of "Patrimonito" was held on 29th of December. Participants arrived around 10:30 and they were welcomed by hot chocolate and Persian cup cakes. After a little introduction by trainers and trainees, the process started by making two groups and letting them choose a name for their group, each group was accompanied by a mentor then each group was given some images of world heritage sites in Iran and some descriptions, each group was asked to match images and descriptions, the mentor was guiding them throughout the activity. All trainees were participating actively and trying to remember their experiences about their travels to these places. When they were done with the activity, the mentors started giving the answers and a brief explanation about each site; mentors were using trainees’ ideas and experiences to complete their tasks.

    Shortly after that, the second part started which was a presentation done by two of mentors. The aim of this presentation was to define the value of these world heritage sites and duties of each person as a "Patrimonito", and what happens if there is no "Patrimonito" and nobody cares about our tangible or intangible heritage. In this part trainees started questioning and understanding the whole concept of being a "Patrimonito", they also added their own suggestions on how to protect our heritage and by the end of this part, they were completely aware about their role as a "Patrimonito".
    Now it was a best time to have a short break, during the break trainees were introduced to some of intangible heritages as they were served by traditional food and snacks and even they way of serving was according to traditions and everyone had this opportunity to discuss about intangible heritage while enjoying some traditional food and snacks.
    When the break was done, everyone was asked to choose a heritage either tangible or intangible and they had to introduce their chosen heritage to a tourist by making a postcard using what they have learnt. They were given all of necessary tools such as color papers, color pencils, glue, scissors, images of heritage and a mentor was with them in order to help them completing the task.

    When they were done, they handed out their postcards and with the mentors they sat together and spent a few minutes asking and answering about what they have learnt. Then they were told to say their vows for protecting their heritage and caring about it, the mentor said the vow and the trainees repeated after her and they officially became a "Patrimonito".

    The last but the best part was when they were given the certificates, and they were told that since they are aware of the value of the heritage and they know how to protect it, they are chosen as "Patrimonito" and they should continue their mission by introducing the value of heritage to others. They were granted certificates and labels and the workshop of "Patrimonito" was finished by taking some memorial photos.