When the Arabs invaded Persia in the 7th century, some followers of the Zoroastrian religion fled to the surrounding mountains and deserts to escape forced conversion to Islam. In a long and narrow valley in the Karkas Mountains, north of Isfahan, the Zoroastrians is believed to have founded a string of villages. Abyaneh is one of the last surviving village of the valley.
Abyaneh is located at the foot of Karkas Mountain, 70 kilometers southeast of Kashan in Isfahan province, in Iran. The ancient village is a muddle of narrow and sloped lanes, and crumbling mud-brick houses with lattice windows and fragile wooden balconies that cling to the slope. The terrain around Abyaneh contains iron oxides which give it a reddish colour, and because the houses are built with mud bricks they have the same colour as the rock above the village.
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