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Khezr Beach, Hormoz Island, Persian Gulf, Iran, 02-09-2008.
|• Land||42 km2 (16.2 sq mi)|
|Elevation||186 m (610 ft)|
|Time zone||IRST (UTC+3:30)|
Hormuz Island (//; Persian: جزیره هرمز Jazireh-ye Hormoz), also spelled Hormoz, is an Iranian island in the Persian Gulf. Located in the Strait of Hormuz, 5 miles off the Iranian coast, the island is part of Hormozgān Province.
Hormoz Island has an area of 42 km2 (16 sq mi). It is covered by sedimentary rock and layers of volcanic material on its surface. The highest point of the island is about 186 metres above sea level. Due to a lack of precipitation, the soil and water are salty. Specialists have helped cultivar Hara trees to grow in the climate. Due to the lack of fresh water, Iranian engineers have constructed a water pipeline from the mainland.
The island was known as Organa (Όργανα) to the ancient Greeks and as Jarun in the Islamic period. It acquired the name of Hormuz from the important harbour town of Hormuz on the mainland 60 km away which had been a center of a minor principality on both sides of the strait. Hormuz paid tributes to the Mongols and was an important source of income from maritime trade to the Ilkhanate. Around the year of 1300 during one of his dynasty's rebellions its ruler decided to shift his residence to the island in order to evade attacks by Mongolian and Turkish groups from the interior. But the ruler later made peace with the Ilkhans.
A new town was built on the northern tip of Jarun island which was called New Hormuz for a number of years to distinguish it from the old town on the mainland until this fell into ruins. Slowly the name of the new town came to be used for the island as well.
The extremely arid and during the summer months very hot island was not an ideal location for the capital of a principality as all provisions including water had to be brought from the mainland. Its location, however, gave it a degree of security which let it grow to be a major trading port for several centuries especially as its competitors suffered repeatedly from destructions through acts of war and plunder.
In the 15th century, Hormuz was visited several times by a Chinese fleet led by Zheng He.
The Portuguese explorer, Afonso de Albuquerque, captured the island in 1507 and it became a part of the Portuguese Empire. The Portuguese constructed a fortress on the island, the Fort of Our Lady of the Conception. In 1622 the island was captured from the Portuguese by a combined Anglo-Persian force.
Shah Abbas I was not interested in maintaining the island as a trading center developing the nearby mainland port of Bander Abbas instead. The city went into decline. Many of its inhabitants spent part of the year at fields and orchards around the old Hormuz on the mainland, only fishermen being in permanent residence. The island continued to export small quantities of rock salt and lumps of iron oxide which were used as ballast stones for sailing ships.
After a period of Omani administration in the 19th century, it remained just as a sparsely inhabited fishermens' island and showed some development in the later years of the 20th century.
Hara forests at Hormoz Island
- Cambridge history of India, vol. 1, p.147
- Hormuz in the Encyclopedia Iranica
- . الكوخردى ، محمد ، بن يوسف، (كُوخِرد حَاضِرَة اِسلامِيةَ عَلي ضِفافِ نَهر مِهران) الطبعة الثالثة ،دبى: سنة 199۷ للميلاد Mohammed Kookherdi (1997) Kookherd, an Islamic civil at Mehran river, third edition: Dubai
- . کامله،القاسمی، بنت شیخ عبدالله، (تاریخ لنجة) مکتبة دبي للتوزیع، الامارات: الطبعة الثانية عام ۱۹۹۳ للمیلاد
- . الوحیدی الخنجی، حسین بن علی بن احمد، «تاریخ لنجه» ، الطبعة الثانية دبی: دار الأمة للنشر والتوزیع، ۱۹۸۸ للمیلاد
- . اطلس گیتاشناسی استانهای ایران [Atlas Gitashenasi Ostanhai Iran] (Gitashenasi Province Atlas of Iran)
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