Kandovan is one of the three rock villages of the world. It is also one of the most beautiful villages in East Azerbaijan Province, 60 km southwest of Tabriz in Iran.
The village, which some people consider its age about seven thousand years, lies in the heart of a “SoltanDaqi” mountain. The village is about 2200 meters above sea level and the Kandovan river flows alongside it. The Iranian authorities registered this village in the National Heritage list of Iran due to its beauty. In addition, it is famous as one of the strangest villages in Iran.
The history of its settlement backs to the 13th century, during the Mongol invasions and conquests. There are stories telling that the nomads used to live in this place as primary inhabitants. Apparently they used to stay in it as their temporary residence. However, there is another story that says the primary inhabitants were immigrants from the Urmia Lake. It seems that while they were running away from Elamites and their snakes during the battle of Elam and Ashur, they had to come to this region!
How kndovan took the shape of beehives
The Kandovan village took its current shape due to the volcanic activities of lava and magma in addition to human interference during years. It is a conic village and its houses look like beehives, as a result, people called it Kandovan (in Persian, “Kandu” means beehive and Kandovan is the plural form of Kandu).
The architecture of the village is one of its wonders. Here is a village of rocks and cliffs! The walls are very thick, approximately about 2 meters, as a result, in summers, it is very cool and in winters, it is naturally warm.
The height of this rock mass is about 40 meters and most conic layers or “Karaans” have four independent floors. In order to reach the upper floors, there are stairs. The material of these stairs is the Karaan itself and you can see the wooden or glass skylights on upper floors.
These rocky dwellings, like normal residential houses, have different parts such as the living room, closet, and Kitchen. They have even electricity and water plumbing systems. What distinguishes Kandovan from its counterpart villages is the flow of life and the settlement of over 117 families inside these rocks. The residents of Kandovan have rural jobs such as agriculture, animal husbandry, and handicrafts.