Kashan is a small oasis city in central Iran lying 180 km south of Tehran on the edges of the Dasht-e Kavir desert. The area has been settled since at least the 4th millenium BC and was one of the main centres of civilisation in pre-historic ages. Kashan is believed to be the origin of the Three Wise Men, the Biblical Magi, who followed the star to Betlehem. Kashan has been destroyed twice by invading armies and was leveled in 1778 by a major earthquake. Kashan receives relatively few tourists. The main attractions are the traditional houses, mansions built by wealthy people during the Qajar era in the 19th century. Examples of these houses are the Abbasi, Ameriha and Tabatabei traditional houses.
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