Ardestan (Persian: اردستان, also Romanized as Ardestān and Ardistān) is a city in and the capital of Ardestan County, Isfahan Province,Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 14,698, in 4,077 families.
Ardestan is located at the southern foothills of the Karkas mountain chain and is 110 km northeast of Isfahan. It is believed the city has been founded in Sassanian times and was strongly fortified in the 10th century. A Seljuk-era mosque, a bazaar, several ab anbars, and historical houses of the old town are among the tourist attractions of Ardestan. Mulberry, pomegranate and a special kind of fig are the main orchard products of the town.
It has been said that the Sasanian king of kings Khosrow I (the Just) was born in this town. Ardestan is also the birthplace of Hassan Modarres.
The town is undoubtedly a very ancient one, and its name should probably be explained not as Moqaddasī (p. 390) would have it from the whitish color of its soil compared to flour (ārd), but, following Jackson’s suggestion as derived from Old Persian ardastāna (aθangaina, a stone construction) attested in Achaemenid inscriptions. Arab geographers located there the birth-place of Ḵosrow I Anōšīravān and also a fire-temple, the foundation of which was attributed to Bahman, son of Esfandīār. During the Middle Ages the town was one of the most flourishing of the region, renowned for its pomegranates, its silk production, and the activity of its weavers. Although Arab geographers eulogized its population, which counted many intelligent and well-informed men, in the 17th century it was regarded as prone to anger and violence (Mīrzā Moḥammad-Ṣādeq, The Geographical Works of Sádik Isfaháni, London, 1832, p. 62). Travelers of modern times describe it as a pleasant agglomeration sheltering among its wide-spread irrigated gardens. (The town, surrounded by a wall during the Middle Ages, is at present composed of six different greatly dispersed wards.) The population estimated at 500 houses in the 16th century (Josaphat Barbaro, Travels to Tana and Persia, Hakluyt Society, London, 1873, p. 82) was evaluated to 12,000 inhabitants by Sykes at the end of the 19th century, and to 6,645 by the census of 1966, and 13,696 by that of 1976 (with a total population of 42,484 inhabitants in the entire šahrestān). Agricultural activity based on qanāts is still largely preponderant. The organization of the irrigation is purported by local tradition to go back to Hūlāgū, grandson of Jengiz Khan, and to have been regulated at the time by Naṣīr-al-dīn Ṭūsī (cf. A. K. S. Lambton, Landlord and Peasant in Persia, London, 1955, p. 218).
The surrounding countryside counts numerous villages (some fifty in the 14th century according to the Nozhat al-qolūb) often unstable and poor, owing to the scarcity of water on the outskirts of the desert. One of these, Zavāra, today half ruined and buried in sand, was a lively town during the Saljuq period and has some important ruins.
This Seljuk imamzadeh possibly made part of a Seljuk madrasah. Only little of this structure remains today. A badly damaged portal with the remains of a minaret (originally two) can still be found.
The oldest parts indicate a pre-Seljuk building, and it is possible the mosque was built on the site of a chahar taq. The structure was incorporated in a Seljuk kiosk mosque in the 12th century, and further expanded to the classical four-iwan plan. The stucco decoration of the mihrab was altered during the Il-Khanid period.
This Qanat with two levels of water lying over each other is one of the most interesting Qanats in Iran.
One of the most dutiful and valuable monument of Ardestan city is the sepulcher stone of Amir Oveis which people of Ardestan known as white stone...