Down in the southeast of Iran, close to an oasis in the desert Dasht-e-Lut lies the city of Kerman with a population of approximately 350 000 inhabitants. The distance to Teheran is more than 1 000 kilometres and the city was founded in the 4th century and had great importance for the people who were travelling far along the trading routes between Iran and India. During the centuries different masters have ruled the city, for example Arabs, Seljuks and Mongolians.
Until a few years ago Kerman was a good starting-point for the people wanting to visit the old fortress city of Bam, about 200 kilometres south. Bam was on of the most greatest tourist attractions in Iran, but was destroyed by an earthquake around Christmas 2003, killing 10 000 peoples.
The city of Kerman today has a pleasant atmosphere with mosques, blocks with bazaars and tea houses. The carpet manufacturing has long been an important industry and carpets from Kerman are easily recognized. The ground colour is often red, and the pattern is dominated by a centrally placed medallion together with a wide border filled with flowers.