Chaleshtar Castle


This magnificent little museum, housed in the residence of a former khan, comes as something of a surprise given its location in the sleepy village of Chaleshtar, near Shahr-e Kord. The khan who lived here provided equally for his two sons by building each a sumptuous wing of the house, arranged around courtyards, and today it houses an interesting collection of artefacts, including ancient tombstones provided with two holes for water and grain for the benefit of birds.

In the entrance to this elegant palace, a tiny lock, weighing just 1g, is on display in honour of the town's lock-making heritage. The lock on the Khabba in Mecca is reputedly a work of art from this region.

The old hammam sports mannequins with heavy beards and hairy legs, and there's a small regular museum displaying various pottery and ceramics. It is the building itself, however, with its decorated iwans, stone pillars and magnificently painted walls, that is the star of the show. The first courtyard also functions as an artelier with felt work, jam-making and other crafts on sale. There's also a teahouse.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Iran attractions

1. Shahr-e Kord Museum

5.17 MILES

With modest exhibits, this museum is worth visiting primarily for the building in which the displays are housed. Occupying an old hammam, the restoration…