Kashan, Oasis in the Central Desert of Iran
Kashan, is a small city, and definitely off the tourist route, is well worth seeing. Sitting on the edge of Iran's central deserts, it is a major oasis and is home to many merchants (carpets, silk, etc), some very wealthy, as the two places we visited attest.
For more, here's what wikipedia.org has to say: Kashan is a city in the province of Isfahan, Iran. The etymology of the city name comes from Kasian, the original inhabitants of the city, whose remains are found at Tapeh Sialk dating back 9,000 years; later this changed to Kashian, whence the town name. The Persian word Kashi, which translates into the English word "tile". Kashan is the first of the large oases along the Qom-Kerman road which runs along the edge of the central deserts of Iran. Its charm is thus mainly due to the contrast between the parched immensities of the deserts and the greenery of the well-tended oasis.
Although there are many sites in Kashan of potential interest to tourists, the city remains largely undeveloped in this sector, with fewer than a thousand foreign tourists per year. Qamsar and Abyaneh are notable towns around Kashan, which attract tourists year around. The nearby town of Niasar features a man-made cave and fireplace of historical interest.
Kashan is internationally famous for manufacturing carpets, silk and other textiles. Kashan today houses most of Iran's mechanized carpet-weaving factories, and has an active marble and copper mining industry. Kashan and suburbs have a population of 400,000.
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