It’s a town in southeastern Iran, located on the southwestern rim of the Dasht-e Lut basin at an altitude of 1,100 m. It is a city in the Central District of Bam County, Kerman province, and serves as both capital of the county and of the district.

Bam is a large oasis that owes its existence to the runoff from the Jabal Barez mountains; during the wet season rivers such as the Tahroud, which traverses the town, provide enough flow to run the mills. However, since the dry season lasts most of the year, particularly important to the town’s survival is its system of twenty-five Qanas.


In the 18th century, Bam’s role as a frontier fortress became paramount. After being occupied by Afghans twice in 1719 and during the period 1721-30, Bam emerged as the forward Iranian position, which probably with Nader Shah Afshar’s authorization had established itself in neighboring Narmasir. Today Bam remains an important commercial hub and has an enhanced administrative role as the seat of its own sahrestan.

A deadly earthquake happened in 2003 that destroyed much of the city and killed tens of thousands.



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The historical city of Bam
The historical city of Bam


The Arg-e Bam located in the city of Bam, Kerman Province of southeastern Iran, is the largest adobe building in the world. The entire building was a large fortress containing the citadel, but because the citadel dominates the ruins, the entire fortress is now named Bam Citadel.


Listed by UNESCO as part of the World Heritage Site “Bam and its Cultural Landscape”, it can be traced back to at least the Achaemenid Empire (sixth to fourth centuries BC). The citadel rose to importance from the seventh to eleventh centuries, as a crossroads along the Silk Road and other important trade routes, and as a producer of silk and cotton garments.