Tag Archives: South Khorasan Province

Photo gallery: Zereshk (barberry) farms in Iran

Berberis vulgaris, also known as European barberry or simply Barberry, is a deciduous shrub, native to central and southern Europe, northwest Africa and western Asia. It grows up to 4m high with yellow flowers that bloom in late spring. The fruit is an oblong red berry, rich in Vitamin C, that ripens in late summer or autumn. Although it has a sharp flavor, people in many countries eat it as a tart and refreshing fruit. The thorny shrubs make harvesting them difficult, so in most places, they are not widely consumed. They are an important food for many small birds, which disperse the seeds in their droppings.

Iran is the largest producer of zereshk and saffron in the world. Zereshk (or sereshk) is the Persian name for the dried fruit of Berberis, specially that of Berberis integerrima ‘Bidaneh’, which is widely cultivated in Iran. Zereshk and saffron are produced on the same land and the harvest is at the same time. In Iran their main production area lies in South Khorasan, especially around Qaen and Birjand. There is evidence of cultivation of seedless barberry in South Khorasan two hundred years ago.

Zereshk is widely used in cooking, imparting a tart flavor to chicken dishes. It is usually cooked with rice, called zereshk polo, and provides a nice meal with chicken. Zereshk jam, zereshk juice, and zereshk fruit rolls are also produced in Iran.

Photos of zereshk farms in Semirom (Isfahan), Birjand and Zohan (South Khorasan)

Sources: Wikipedia | Berberis vulgaris, Mehr News 1, Mehr News 2, ISNA, IRNA

Iran’s South Khorasan Province: Kolah Farangi, Birjand

The Kolah Farangi Citadel is located in Birjand in South Khorasan Province. It was built during the late Zand and early Qajar era between the years 1848 and 1895. The structure is a unique landmark of Birjand and was constructed by Amir Hassan Khan Sheybani. It consists of the garden, the stable, the bathhouse, the offices, and the reception hall.


The building has a hexagonal base, a white conical top and is six stories high. The main entrance is preceded by a roofed area containing some eye-catching arcs. The interior of the ground floor has a number of different rooms which are connected by hallways. In its center there is a room containing a pool which can be accessed from many different entrances. It is situated approximately a meter lower than the rest of the floor and is octagonal in shape. The pool helps keep optimum ventilation throughout the building.

The Kolah Farangi Citadel is registered as national cultural heritage site number 1880. Today it is used as Southern Khorasan’s governorship offices and storage space.

Sources: Dream of Iran, Historical Iran

Iran’s South Khorasan Province: Akbarieh Garden and Mansion, Birjand (Photos)

Akbariyeh Garden is Located in Birjand, North-east of Iran and is one of the most beautiful Persian gardens. This historical garden lying in the mountainous bed, consists of two mansions.

Construction of the older building in the easternmost of the garden dates back to the late Zandiyeh and early Qajar era. But the central building, on the western front, is almost as the core counts of the garden. It is beautifully decorated and was used for ceremonies.


The mansions display inlaid decorations, netted and sash windows with colored glasses, and geometrical plaster designs. The Russian-Iranian design displays tall trees, pavilion, and extremely beautiful sash decorating with mirrors and tile.

The Akbariyeh Garden’s mulberry trees, pomegranates and flowers are making beautiful sights.
Although the garden is situated in remote parts of the country, it is one of the Persian gardens that worth visiting in a trip to Iran.

Today, the mansion is used as a library, museums of archaeology, anthropology and wildlife and a traditional Persian tea house.

Akbariyeh Garden is among the 9 Iranian Gardens which are collectively registered as one of the Iran’s 17 registered World Heritage Sites under the name of the Persian Garden.

Akbariyeh Garden is also known as the Akbarieh Garden and Edifice, or Akbarieh Garden and Complex. In Persian it reads as “باغ اکبریه” (from right to left) and pronounced as “baqe akbariyeh”.

Related posts: The other Iran | Birjand

Sources: Otraq.com, Dream of Iran

Iran’s South Khorasan Province: Birjand Citadel 2 (Photos)

The citadel protected people from the aggression of enemies during the Safavid and Qajar eras. Made of brick and clay walls, it is the oldest structure in the city and dates back to Safavids. The castle offers a beautiful view of the city, specially the old town.

Birjand, located on the eastern side of Iran’s central desert, is the capital of Southern Khorasan province in Eastern Iran. The weather is harsh and dry, however, Birjand had the first water system in Iran, even before that of Tehran and other big cities.

Due the climate and being protected by mountain range and desert, Birjand’s culture and language have remained almost unaffected by time. The Birjandi dialect of Persian is considered one of the oldest spoken accent of the language in Iran.

It is said that the Shokatiyeh School in Birjand together with Darolfonoon in Tehran were the first modern public schools of higher education in Iran in the mid-19th century. Nicknamed as City of Pines and City of Culture, Birjand has amassed an abundance of institutions of higher education and become an important location for research and development.

Related article: The other Iran | Iran’s South Khorasan Province: Birjand Citadel (Photos)

Sources: IRNA | Photos, Dream of Iran | All About Birjand: The Capital of Saffron Province

Iran’s South Khorasan Province: Birjand Citadel (Photos)

Birjand Citadel (also Birjand Castle or Citadel of Paeenshahr) is a citadel in Birjand, South Khorasan province, Iran. The citadel has an area of 3000 m² and dates back to Safavid era. It originally had 7 towers of which, six stand today.

Sources: ISNA | Photos, Wikimapia | Birjand-Citadel

Iran’s South Khorasan Province: Furg Citadel (Photos)

The Citadel of Furg, or Arg e Furg, is a citadel from the 12th century, located in Iran’s South Khorasan province 90 km east of the city of Birjand. The citadel was founded by Meerza Muhammad Rafiee Darmiany I (Lama). Materials used in the building include stone, brick, clay, gypsum, lime and mortar (Sarouj).

Source: Payvand News of Iran