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World Report

Iran Turns Ancient Fortress Site into Unusual Tourist Attraction

Aired July 16, 2000 - 2:43 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ASIEH NAMDAR, CNN ANCHOR: The ancient Iranian city of Bam is surrounded by a triple ring of fortifications and guarded by dozens of towers. But all of those defenses were not enough to keep the city safe from advancing armies, and Bam was conquered and abandoned. The dry desert air has preserved the city's red clay structures, and now the town is one of Iran's most unusual tourist sites.

IRIB takes us through the dead city.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DELARAM FORADI, IRIB (voice-over): I pass through the tunnel of time and step into the history of one of the most ancient lands of the world. Here, in Iran's Luc (ph) Desert, lies the link between the ancient and the new worlds, the Bam citadel in Keron (ph).

(on camera): The Bam citadel, with a history of 2,500 years, annually hosts more than 100,000 tourists from the farthest parts of the world.

(voice-over): Bam citadel, or fortress, is constructed on the top of a large cliff northeast of the town of Bam. The deep mote around the citadel has been protected this fortress from various invaders during the course of history.

The Bam citadel consists of two sections: the royal quarters, and the public quarters. The royal quarter is also known as four seasons, and according to historians the royal quarter had been a fire temple during the Sasanid (ph) era.

The public quarter also consists of a number of historical buildings with well-organized urban utilities, which have been constructed during the course of history.

In the public quarter, there exists the remains of a number of facilities, such as the sports center, public bath, stables, garrison, prison, tea house, caravan, bazaar, mosque and a number of squares.

Those who want to travel to Bam can take a direct flight from Tehran to this town and stay in various hotels which are constructed to accommodate visitors and tourists.

The new Bam citadel is constructed in the vicinity of the ancient Bam citadel and is equipped with all the necessary facilities to provide pleasant and joyful times for tourists who have come to Bam to see one of the most attractive tourist sites of the world.

Delaram Foradi, IRIB correspondent, reporting for CNN WORLD REPORT.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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