Carved entirely out of solid stone, The Underground City of Nushabad (also known as Oeei) is an astounding highly advanced example of ancient architecture dating back to over 15 centuries ago. Located approximately 10km away from Kashan City, the remarkable legendary city continues to bewilder its unsuspecting visitors. The intelligently designed city was created to provide shelter for the local Persians during foreign attacks and invasions. Archeologists have dated the origins of the underground city to be from the Sassanid Era (224-651 CE). Come along with goingIRAN to learn and discover more about fascinating destination!
The history of the architectural marvels begins with the order of a king of the Sassanid Dynasty. Passing through the area, the king had a drink from the local water well and was surprised at the extremely light and clean water quality. He then gave orders for a city to be built around it; originally called Anoushabad (the city of refreshing cold water). The underground city is comprised of a series of very intricate canals, each leading to one another through vertical wells.
Originally it had multiple entry points throughout the entire city; located inside specific houses and main public areas. Although a convenient staircase has been created for tourists to more easily enter, in the past you could only get-in one person at a time. This tight squeeze upon entry was to prevent invaders from rushing the refuge and carrying weapons. The depth of the 170 – 180cm canals are between 4 to 18 meters in various parts of the three floors. Along the carved-out pathways are various rooms and dug out ledges where people could sit/sleep. Legend has it that the city of Kashan was known to ‘disappear’ whenever an invasion was taking place.
Due to its tremendously clever design, this amazing underground hiding place could house a great number of families at a time. People could easily survive without even coming up to the surface for days on end, providing they had enough food with them. One of the features that makes this attraction truly fascinating is its advanced ventilation system. Built in such a way that numerous people would have no trouble breathing fresh air even at 18 meters below the surface! Curvy pathways made it easy for the refugees to ambush unsuspecting invaders around corners. In addition to these defense mechanisms, it’s worthy to mention that these passageways were also riddled with booby traps! Moving stones and hidden trap doors on the ground took care of the unbriefed attackers in the dark. One of the last known defense mechanisms of this city was a verbal code. Whenever one was to go through a passageway, they would have to say Oeei (pronounced ooh-we) as a confirmation that they are a local. Not saying this special word would put one in serious risk of getting killed as they would be assumed to be an invader!
When in Iran, and especially Kashan, we recommend that you absolutely do not miss seeing this attraction! As long as you aren’t claustrophobic, goingIRAN suggests this ancient underground city to be number one on your list! Relive the long passed days of the ancient times when spine-chilling invasions took place; rushing down the wells and hiding with your closest loved ones by your side… This mysterious place of antiquity is sure to induce such extraordinary viewpoints in any traveller that visits it!
City/Town: Nushabad / Kashan
Street Address: The underground city of Nushabad, Maelian St., Imam khomeyni St., Shohada Square. Nushabad road.
Operating Days: Every day
Operating Hours: 9am – 7pm
Typical Price: 200.000 Rls. (20.000 Tomans)
Neighbourhood: Anoosh café