Arg e Bam, the world’s largest adobe monument, is one of Iran’s most important and valuable landmarks. This great historical complex was built on a huge cliff near the city of Bam in Kerman province. Built on the Abrisham Road in the 5th century BC, the monument was used until 1850 AD by common people.
Arg e Bam is an important historical castle listed in the National Iranian List of Monuments. Bam is one of the oldest cities in Iran. It should be noted that the historic hill of Bidron (about 10 kilometers to the north of Bam), and the Tal Atashin (located 30 kilometers east of Bam), indicating that they belong to the second to fourth centuries BC.
Arg e Bam is just a member of a great historical system located among several other monuments. The historic city of Darzin (which dates back to BC periods), the Dokhtar Castle, the Chartaq mansion, the Kooshk, and Pir e Alamdar are among the ancient mansions that encompass the world’s largest adobe building: The Arg e Bam! An ancient mosque known as Hazrat Rasool (PBUH) Mosque which was built by Abdullah ibn Omar, is another monument located in the east of the Arg e Bam castle.
Arg e Bam has many unique architectural and urban designing values for so many reasons including the numerous types of monuments and residential neighborhoods and the way they are combined and the shape of the buildings on the slope of the hill and the unique four-season mansion at the highest point.
Although there is controversy about the history of the formation of this castle (between the Ashkanid period and even the Achaemenid period), most of its monuments dating back to the Timurid to the Qajar period. However, some sections such as the porch of the Jame mosque with its large and different scale refer to much older periods (such as the fourth century AH during the Samanid period to the seventh century AH during the Seljuk period). Eventually, the Arg e Bam was uninhabited during the Qajar period.
The Historical Arg e Bam, approximately 200,000 square meters, is one of the largest collections of brick buildings inhabited by Bam residents for more than 20 centuries. The materials used in its construction are mainly of adobe, bricks mallat, clay, and straw, and in very rare cases rocks, and palm tree trunks.
This historic castle consists of many architectural types including curtain walls, towers and battlements, and numerous gates, mosques, bazaars, inns, schools, baths, zurkhaneh (a traditional Iranian gym originally used to train warriors in Iran) and residential neighborhoods with the houses of the rich and the folk, barracks, stables, mills, 40-meter water well, commander’s house and the governor’s residence which includes the governor’s house, the four-season mansion and the watchtower.
The 2003 earthquake destroyed almost 80 percent of the Arg e Bam. Many countries helped Iran to rebuild it because of the importance of this cultural heritage. Japan, France, Italy helped from the beginning. Japan contributed approximately 1.3 billion dollars and supported the Bam Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Project by sending the necessary equipment and creating a three-dimensional map.
The Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage also used a € 500,000 budget to rebuild the number one tower on the southwest corner of the city wall. The Bam reconstruction project was completed in 2011 with the cooperation of Iranian and Italian experts. France also helped with the project by providing the map of Arg e Bam and The World Bank has also contributed a large amount of money.