Assarkhaneh Shahi: Isfahan’s historical oil-extracting house

ISFAHAN, Dec. 30 (MNA) – Assarkhaneh Shahi belonging to Safavid dynasty is a historical oil extracting house in the UNESCO world-heritage-listed Isfahan.

Assarkhanehs (oil extraction houses) played a key role in Iranian history in providing the required oil for the people during different periods of time.

One of the most important cultural, historical and tourism monuments in Iran, the structure of Assarkhaneh Shahi (Royal Oil Extraction House) in the City of Isfahan occupies an area of 360 by 700 sqm. The monument was constructed during the reign of Shah Abbas I from the Safavid dynasty which puts it at some 400 years back in time.

Assarkhaneh Shahi was constructed in 1021 AH and was in operation until a few decades ago, but ultimately went out of service due to its being uneconomical.

The main hall of this structure is 11 meters high with three domes. The roofs have an arch structure and the skylights provide the light for the Assarkhaneh. The domes served to keep cool the extracted oil.

The east wing of the structure has two floors; the upper floor which was known as a hothouse, served to clean and toast oil seeds. The oil seeds included sesame, cotton seeds, poppy, sunflower, etc.

According to Ladan Abd, who is in charge of Assarkhane art affairs, Assarkhaneh Shahi features a grindstone made of rocks from a mountain near Ardestan in Isfahan Province. The grindstone then was pulled by a male camel, and the grinded seeds would then be transformed into a kind of dough.

“In the past, extracting oil was considered a sacred profession,” she said.

Assarkhaneh Shahi had an infrastructure of nearly 1,800 meters in the past, but only 380 of it has survived today.

 

MS/HRGH
MNA
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