After having visited Abyaneh and Bagh-e Tarikhi-ye Fin, I went back to Kashan to visit its main sights.
Agha Bozorg Mosque
I first stopped at Agha Bozorg Mosque. At the entrance, an old man asked me to pay the foreign rate. I quickly had a look at the ticket and I noticed that there was only one tariff (but in Arabic characters). I told the old man that I would not pay more than indicated on the ticket unless he could prove me that there was a dual tariff for this mosque. He agreed that I paid the normal tariff since I could read Farsi.
The mosque is very beautiful, but is not as beautiful as those of Esfahan...I still had an overall idea of what I would see afterwards in Iran (Kashan was my second stop in Iran after Tehran).
This mosque and theological school consists of two large iwans (terraces), one in front of the mihrab and the other near the entrance. The courtyard has a second court in the middle which contains a garden with trees and a fountain. Surrounding the courtyard are arcades. The iwan in front of the mihrab has two minarets with a brick dome. The colors of arcades and the iwan are restricted to blue, red, or yellow on a brick ground.
After having visited Agha Bozorg Mosque, I headed towards the Khans (Residences) district, located in the old city. My map lacked precisions regarding the exact location of the houses to visit, and I was forced to ask the way to young Iranians, visibly happy to be able to help a lost tourist. A teenager volunteered to show me the first house, the Borujerdi house. It is the first Persian Residence that I visited in Iran and I would visit a lot of other ones later.
This house used to be a private home but now is open to the public as a museum. This house was built in 18 years in the early 19th century and consists of a beautiful courtyard, delightful wall paintings and very unusual wind towers (see pictures) which help cool down the house. It is considered a true masterpiece of Persian traditional residential architecture.
The second house I visited was Khan-e Tabatabei, not much different to the previous one. The only difference was the beautiful windows with painted glasses and the wind towers were less unusual than at Khan-e Borujeri.
I ended my visit of Kashan with the Friday Mosque or Masjed-e Jameh, less impressive than Agha Bozorg Mosque. Its 11th century mihrab was built during the Seljuq period and has been restored several times since then. This mosque itself dates back to the Timurid Dynasty (15th century) and has a minaret with some ancient inscriptions.
Overall, Kashan is a charming city, where it is good to live, in spite of the drenchy summer heat and I really enjoyed visiting it.