Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Kolah Farangi Citadel

The Kolah Farangi Citadel (عمارت کلاه فرنگی) is located in Birjand in South Khorasan province. It was built during the late Zand and early Qajar era between the years 1848 and 1895. The structure is a unique landmark of Birjand and was constructed by Amir Hassan Khan Sheybani. It consists of the garden, the stable, the bathhouse, the offices, and the reception hall.

The structure has a hexagonal base and a white conical top. It is white in color and the building materials consist of brick and limestone. The wall decorations are honeycomb plasterwork, motifs and niches. It is six stories high although only two floors are functional. Due to the Citadel’s design, the ground floor is the largest. The main entrance is preceded by a roofed area containing some eye-catching arcs. The interior of the ground floor has a number of different rooms which are connected by hallways. In its center is a room containing a pool which can be accessed from many different entrances. It is situated approximately a meter lower than the rest of the floor and is octagonal in shape. The pool helps keep optimum ventilation throughout the building.

The next floor is also octagonal in shape although with fewer rooms and less area. The remaining floors are progressively smaller and are strictly to create the Citadel’s current shape and have no other practical usage.

The Kolah Farangi Citadel is registered as national cultural heritage site number 1880. Today it is used as Southern Khorasan’s governorship offices and storage space.

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