Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Arg-e Bam (Bam Citadel) is the biggest adobe (clay-based) building in the world and is located in the city of Bam in Kerman. The origins of Arg-e Bam traces back to the Achaemenids Empire (6 – 4 centuries BC), however, it reached its peak from the 7th to 11th centuries when the city found itself on the crossroads of major trade routes. This citadel, which is built entirely with mud brick, is a fine example of a fortified medieval town in the desert of Iran.
Most of the city of Bam and the arg were torn apart by a devastating 6.6 magnitude earthquake in 2003. However, extensive restorations started shortly after the earthquake to restore this masterpiece to its original state. Today, most sections of the arg are open to visitors, and thanks to the remarkable restoration job, a lot of visitors are still wowed by all the glory this gem has to offer. Needless to say, the citadel’s plan has been completely preserved after it was rebuilt.
Arg-e Bam can be divided into two main sections. The rulers’ quarters is located in the heart of the citadel and is also located on a elevated floor to make overseeing the city more convenient. The medieval town of Bam is located near the citadel entrance, and consists of more than 400 houses in different sizes, a bazaar, and several other identified public buildings. Like most fortified citadels, the medieval town of the arg was used as a shield to make the rulers quarters immune to potential attacks.