Home Tourism Underground City of Nushabad: The Hidden Wonder in Kashan

Underground City of Nushabad: The Hidden Wonder in Kashan

The Underground City of Nushabad

by Parastoo Sahebi
10 minutes read
The Underground City of Nushabad

The Underground City of Nushabad or Ouyi is one of the most fascinating and modern underground cities in the world, located in Iran, Kashan. This underground city is recognized as an architectural and engineering masterpiece attributed to the Sassanian period, which ruled Persia from the 3rd to the 7th century AD. This subterranean complex served as a refuge and defensive stronghold during times of political instability and military conflicts. The underground city provides all the necessary facilities, security, and comfort. It offers numerous attractions for visitors and researchers, making it a unique destination in the world. Join us at Eligasht to learn more about the underground city of Ouyi in Kashan.


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The underground city of Nushabad in Kashan is one of the remarkable tourist attractions in Iran, known for its historical and cultural significance. This underground city has attracted many tourists due to its access to ancient and cultural artifacts, as well as its unique architecture. When you enter this astonishing place, you step into an underground world with beautiful tunnels, stone ceilings, and walls. In 1385, it was registered as a national heritage site. It has captured significant attention as one of Iran’s important historical and cultural attractions, being the largest underground city in the world. Travelers from all around the globe visit this captivating place to experience its unforgettable beauty.


The History of the Underground City of Nushabad, Kashan


The history of the underground city of Ouyi or Nushabad, as a modern and unique underground city in Iran, dates back to the Sassanian era. According to archaeologists, this city was built approximately 1,500 years ago and served as the capital of the Sassanian Empire. The construction of this underground city at that time was the result of the efforts and knowledge of skilled Iranian architects and engineers who created a complete and modern living environment underground while considering the region’s climatic conditions. Today, this underground city is considered an innovative example of Sassanian-era architecture and engineering.

The Underground City of Nushabad

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The Architecture of the Underground City of Ouyi


The underground city of Ouyi reaches a depth of 4 to 16 meters and covers an area of 4 square kilometers. It is a marvelously designed underground city that takes you into a strange and beautiful world. This underground city, located beneath Nushabad in Isfahan province, showcases unique features such as distinctive stone ceilings and walls, a historical background dating back to the Sassanian era, and a complex system of interconnected tunnels, small and large rooms, wells, and winding underground passages. It is built on three levels, forming a network similar to a city.


The architecture of this city includes the first level, which consists of various pathways, corridors, and multiple entrances. The second and third levels are designed for living during times of danger, serving as shelters and storage spaces. For the safety of the people, these levels have a large horizontal and public area with a significant height, approximately equal to a person’s stature, around 170 to 180 centimeters. The entrance consists of around 45 steps, suitable for only one person, which is why it is known as the city of Ouyi. This feature allowed the city to serve as a secure refuge for people during the Mongol invasion.


Unique Features


The underground city of Nushabad stands out for its unique features and historical significance. Some notable aspects include:

The Underground City of Nushabad


Construction Techniques


The construction of the underground city of Nushabad showcases the remarkable engineering skills of its builders. The city was carved out of soft limestone rock, utilizing a combination of manual labor and simple tools. The process involved cutting and shaping the rock to create living spaces, storage areas, ventilation shafts, and underground passages. The precision and attention to detail are evident in the intricate arches, columns, and corridors that make up the city.


Ventilation System


One of the most impressive features of the underground city of Nushabad is its advanced ventilation system. Airshafts and ducts were strategically placed throughout the complex to allow for air circulation and to prevent the buildup of stale air. Additionally, ingenious light wells were constructed, enabling natural light to reach the lower levels of the city, reducing the need for artificial lighting. The architects of the city designed a network of air vents and shafts that provided fresh air circulation throughout the underground complex. This ingenious system ensured a constant supply of oxygen and maintained a comfortable living environment for the residents.


Water Management


The underground city also boasts an elaborate water management system. Wells and underground channels were built to collect and distribute water from nearby sources, ensuring a reliable water supply for the inhabitants. The careful management of water resources allowed the city to sustain its population even during times of scarcity.


Defensive Structures


The Underground City of Nushabad

In addition to serving as a refuge, the underground city of Ouyi was fortified with defensive structures to protect its inhabitants. Thick walls, narrow passages, and strategically placed entrances made it difficult for invaders to penetrate the city. The complex layout of the underground city also provided a tactical advantage, allowing the residents to defend themselves effectively.


Preservation of Temperature and Humidity


The underground city’s construction materials and design helped to regulate temperature and humidity levels. The porous nature of the rock provided natural insulation, keeping the interior cool in the scorching summers and warm during harsh winters. This natural climate control was essential for the comfort and survival of the inhabitants.


Rediscovery and Preservation


The underground city of Nushabad remained hidden and largely forgotten for centuries until its rediscovery in the 1960s. Since then, efforts have been made to preserve and study this remarkable archaeological site. Excavations have revealed artifacts, pottery, and remnants of ancient structures, shedding light on the daily life and culture of the people who once inhabited the city.


Today, the underground city of Nushabad is open to visitors who can explore its fascinating underground passages, chambers, and architectural marvels. The site offers a unique glimpse into the past and serves as a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of ancient civilizations.

The Underground City of Nushabad

The best time to visit the underground city of Ouyi

The best time to visit the underground city of Ouyi, located near Kashan, depends on personal preferences and weather conditions. In general, spring can be the best time to visit Nushabad. During this period, besides experiencing the traditional rosewater festival in Kashan, you can enjoy the sunny and pleasant weather. You can then proceed to visit the underground city of Ouyi. Additionally, autumn is also a good time to visit Nushabad due to the moderate temperature inside the underground city and the delightful weather. You can enjoy the underground beauty and breathtaking landscapes.


Accessing the underground city of Nushabad


The underground city of Nushabad is located in the vicinity of Kashan, within a 5-kilometer distance. It is a historical attraction in the city of Kashan. To access this amazing underground city, you first need to travel to Kashan. You can use transportation methods such as train, bus, or private car to reach Kashan. Travel towards Kashan via the Qom highway. Change your route towards Aran and Bidgol after reaching the 5-kilometer mark from Kashan. Before reaching the Aran and Bidgol towns, you will see signs indicating Nushabad. You can access the underground city of Nushabad by walking from that area.


Tourist attractions around the underground city


This underground city is located near Kashan. In addition to visiting the attractions in Kashan, you can enjoy the attractions around Nushabad. Among these attractions, Sialk Hill and the Chartaghi Niasar are remarkable historical sites near the underground city of Nushabad in Kashan. Sialk Hill is an ancient complex that dates back to various historical periods, including the Sassanid era. Also, the Chartaghi Niasar, known as one of the significant recognized heritages, has beautiful and charming architecture. Visiting these two historical sites allows you to become more familiar with the culture and history of this region.

The Underground City of Nushabad


Final words


The underground city of Nushabad is a symbol of technology and engineering from the Sassanid period to cope with life challenges in unconventional environments. With all its features, from modern facilities to environmental preservation, it is an attractive place to explore the lives of past generations in this area. Nushabad is known as the most modern underground city in the world. Besides attracting tourists and enthusiasts of Iran’s past architecture and engineering, it is recognized as an advanced model of urban planning in underground spaces. During your visit to this city, in addition to getting acquainted with the history of the region, you can also visit other attractions around Nushabad.




  1. What is the underground city of Nushabad?

The underground city of Nushabad is a historical site located near Kashan in Isfahan Province, Iran. It is an intricate network of tunnels, chambers, and rooms that were built during the Sassanid era as a means of protection and shelter.

  1. What are the main attractions in the underground city of Nushabad?

The underground city of Nushabad offers several fascinating attractions. You can explore the interconnected tunnels, visit ancient rooms and chambers, and witness the impressive ventilation and water supply systems. One of the highlights is the “Gowd-e-Ouyi,” a deep well that served as a source of water for the underground city’s inhabitants.

  1. are there any tour guides available in the underground city of Nushabad?

Yes, there are usually tour guides available in the underground city of Nushabad. Hiring a tour guide can enhance your experience by providing in-depth information about the history, architecture, and significance of the site. They can help navigate the underground tunnels and provide interesting insights into the underground city’s features. If you prefer a guided tour, it’s recommended to inquire about the availability of tour guides in advance or check with local tourism services.

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