Kashan is a large city in western Iran with a population of 250,000. With its origins dating back to late Neolithic times (approx. 7,000 BCE), Kashan is one of the oldest human settlements in the world. Archaeological remains of artifacts and buildings dating back 9,000 years can still be found in the city.

The city grew to become one of the most important trading centers of Iran between the 12th and 14th centuries. Following a gradual decline in population, the city was turned into a vacation spot for Safavid kings, you planted several gardens all over the city.

A devastating earthquake in the late 18th century destroyed much of the city and the it remained sparsely populated for the next half-century. However, the population slowly returned, spurred by the city’s popularity as a vacation spot among Iran’s elites.

Today, Kashan is the capital of Kashan County and an important manufacturing center. Though barely known outside Iran, it remains an important tourist center within the country.