The ancient mud city of Bam was one of the major draw cards of Iranian tourism until its virtual destruction by a massive earthquake in December 2003. Approximately 80% of the ancient town was destroyed and more than 26,000 people died.

Dating from Sassanian times the city was a staging post on trade routes between the Indian Subcontinent and the Persian Gulf and Europe. The citadel’s thick walls were guarded by 38 watchtowers and the complex was equipped to support the population in times of siege.

There are plans to rebuild using traditional methods, but this will be a long-term project.