TEHRAN, April 15 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iran and Portugal have come to an agreement in the restoration of southern Iran's Portuguese castles.
The agreement was negotiated by Portuguese Ambassador to Tehran JosÚ Manuel da Costa ArsÚnio and deputy director of Iran's Cultural Heritage, tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) Fariborz Dowlatabadi during a session on Tuesday.
The agreement will be signed next month,
"From our point of view, the Portuguese castles in the Persian Gulf symbolize Iranians' valor, resistance, and struggle. In addition they should be restored for their historical and architectural value," he stated.
The Portuguese castles were constructed in southern Iran after the Portuguese viceroy Alfonso de Albuquerque attacked Hormoz Island in the Persian Gulf in 1507 during the reign of Safavid dynasty (1502-1736).
The first was built by Albuquerque
on Hormoz Island. The fact that such an important place was in foreign hands was
so galling to Safavid king Shah Abbas I (1587-1629) that he eventually convinced
the British East India Company to allow its ships to cooperate with his land
forces and wrested the island from the Portuguese in 1622.
The castle is without doubt the most impressive colonial fortress in Iran. Constructed of reddish stone on a rocky promontory at the far north end of the island, the castle was originally cut off from the rest of the island by a moat, the traces of which still remain. Although most of the roof caved in long ago, much of the lower part of the very substantial outer walls is still intact, with the remains lying on different levels of the site.
The Portuguese left several other castles on the Iranian islands of Qeshm, and Larak and in the port of Kong as legacies of their colonial exploitation in the Persian Gulf during the 16th and 17th centuries.
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