Abarkouh Historical Complex Opens

A set of historical houses in Abarkouh have been repurposed by the private sector to serve as lodging and hospitality facilities
Aqazadeh and Mousavi mansions have been inscribed on the National Heritage List. Aqazadeh and Mousavi mansions have been inscribed on the National Heritage List.

A historical tourist complex in Abarkouh County of Yazd Province was opened on Saturday in a ceremony attended by top officials from Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, the Revitalization and Utilization Fund for Historical Places and provincial authorities.

A set of historical houses in Abarkouh was ceded to a private investor in 2015 by auction to be repurposed as a tourist resort.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Ali Asghar Mounesan, the ICHHTO chief, pointed to the organization's small budget, stressing that tourism moves forward with the cooperation of the private sector, IRNA reported.    

"ICHHTO does not largely rely on state budgets, therefore the doors of the organization are open for any non-state investment in projects such as development of tourism infrastructure," he said, stressing that all sectors under ICHHTO are ready to welcome private investors.

Mounesan commended the efforts of the private investor in reviving Abarkouh's historical structures that will help reach the target of 20 million foreign tourists by 2025 while encouraging nine million outbound tourists to opt for domestic destinations.

Mohammad Kazemi-Nasab, the interim governor of Abarkouh, regretted that despite its great potential, the county has remained among the less developed ones in Yazd Province.

He highlighted the county's need for more tourism investment, as the purchase of Abarkouh's many historical houses requires large funds.

Kazemi-Nasab also pointed to the county's most famous attraction, the 4,500-year-old cypress of Abarkouh, calling for efforts to promote tourism in the county.

"The tree could be inscribed on a global list and its picture could be printed on banknotes or sport teams' shirts," he suggested.

The historical tourist complex constitutes five ancient houses, namely Aqazadeh, Hosseini Doust, Seyyed Ali Aqa, Mousavi and Gabri.

Aqazadeh and Mousavi mansions have been inscribed on the National Heritage List.

According to Mohsen Azimi, the investor of the project, over 17 billion rials ($3.6 million) have been spent for the restoration of the complex that now serves as a lodging and hospitality facility.

"With the operation of the first phase, 15 people will be employed and once the entire project is complete, 45 more jobs will be created," he said.

Abarkouh is located at the crossroads of Yazd, Isfahan and Fars provinces, known as Iran's tourism triangle. It houses 400 historical sites, of which 123 have been nationally inscribed.

Aali Dome, Masjed-Jame', the ancient adobe fridge and historical houses are among its many attractions.

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