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Photographer's Note

At the time of the year when we were there, Kandovan was a sleepy town preparing for winter months when the snow covers the land. In summer it is full of tourists escaping the heat and smog of Tehran. The kebab places,teahouses and most of the souvenir shops were closed and we felts somewhat poorer for it as we missed out on the holiday atmosphere. On the other hand we could freely meet and chat to the locals and see the pulse of life as is in such a remote place.

In the workshop I include the first view of the town where you can see clearly the tuffs formed by volcanic flow. The other photo shows the town from the other end and the river along which on the left side in particular are the shops and eateries which are shaded in Summer by the large walnut trees.

By the way, our young Iranian guide was annoyed by the building of houses in front of the ancient dwellings, but conceded that progress is inevitable.People are still living in the homes carved into the rock as can be attributed by stairs, doors and windows you may discern in the photos. I did climb up and came across verandahs where women were drying clothes on their clotheslines and a few chickens were running around the small yards.


WIKIPEDIA:
Kandovan (Persian: كندوان‎, also Romanized as Kandovān and Kandavān; also known as Kanvān) is a village in Sahand Rural District, in the Central District of Osku County, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran. This village exemplifies manmade cliff dwellings which are still inhabited. The troglodyte homes, excavated inside volcanic rocks and tuffs similar to dwellings in the Turkish region of Cappadocia, are locally called "Karaan". Karaans were cut into the Lahars (volcanic mudflow or debris flow) of Mount Sahand. The cone form of the houses is the result of lahar flow consisting of porous round and angular pumice together with other volcanic particles that were positioned in a grey acidic matrix. After the eruption of Sahand these materials were naturally moved and formed the rocks of Kandovan. Around the village the thickness of this formation exceeds 100 m and with time due to water erosion the cone shaped cliffs were formed. At the 2006 census, the village population was 601, in 168 families.

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Additional Photos by Klaudio Branko Dadich (daddo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3569 W: 114 N: 6363] (28730)
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