THE CITADEL OF BAM Bam was the first place we visited in Iran. An earthquake recovery zone is probably not the best introduction to a country. While the destruction around us was impossible to ignore, but have have fond memories of our first guesthouse owner, and his freindly welcoming manner, which was a much better representation of Iran, than the destruction around us. Built by the Achaemenians around 579–323 BC , the Citadel of Bam, a UNESCO Heritage structure, was extensively damaged by an earthquake in December 2003. The scale of the remaining structure gives you an idea of its grandeur. The city of Bam was largely destroyed. People were living in shipping containers, or semi ruined houses. Iran and Iranians are rightly proud of their cultural heritage. However, the country was struggling to care for the many people affected by the disater, and funding and machinery were hard to come by. Restoration work was underway when we visited in 2005. Even in its damaged state, the Arg-e-Bam is an impressive sight. Hopefully by now the Citadel has been restored, as well as the lives of the people of Bam.