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|• Land||42 km2 (16.2 sq mi)|
|Elevation||186 m (610 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+3:30 (IRST)|
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, 8 kilometres (5 mi) off the Iranian coast, the island is part of Hormozgān Province.
Hormuz 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 (610 ft) above sea level. Due to a lack of precipitation, the soil and water are salty. Specialists have helped cultivar white mangrove or Hara trees to grow in the climate. Due to the lack of fresh water, Iranian engineers have constructed a water pipeline from the mainland. There are many virgin beaches that go all around the island.
The island, known as Organa (Όργανα) to the ancient Greeks and as Jarun in the Islamic period, acquired the name of "Hormuz" from the important harbour town of Hormuz (Ormus) on the mainland 60 km away, which had been a centre of a minor principality on both sides of the strait. The principality paid tribute to the Mongol-ruled Ilkhanate and was an important source of income from maritime trade. The town's ruler decided to shift his residence to the island around 1300, in order to evade attacks by Mongolian and Turkish groups from the interior. 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 island is arid, and during the summer months the temperature can rise to over 43 °C (109 °F). As such, it 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 the island a degree of security which let it grow to be a major trading port for several centuries. As its competitors suffered from intermittent destruction, Hormuz remained a reliable and relatively safe harborage.
Hormuz was visited by Marco Polo, the famous traveller, at around 1290 while traveling by land, as described in his travelogue.
In 1505 the reign King Manuel I of Portugal led Portugal to establish a policy of expansion in Africa and western Asia. During attempts to expand Portuguese influence into the Indian Ocean, the Portuguese duke Afonso de Albuquerque captured the island in 1507 and it was incorporated into the greater Portuguese Empire. The Portuguese constructed a fortress on the island to deter potential invaders, naming it the Fort of Our Lady of the Conception. The island became an emergency stopover point for Portuguese ships travelling to Goa, Gujarat and nearby Kishm. In 1622 the island was captured from the Portuguese by a combined Anglo-Persian force at the behest of the English East India Company.
Shah Abbas I distrusted the local population and was not interested in maintaining the island as a trading centre or military post; instead he developed the nearby mainland port of Bander Abbas. Hormuz went into decline. Many of its inhabitants seasonally moved to their 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 fishermen's island and showed some development in the later years of the 20th century.
- Cambridge history of India, vol. 1, p.147
- H. Yule, The Book of Ser Marco Polo, 1903, vol. I, p. 110, quoting Abulfeda («Hormuz was devastated by the incursions of the Tartars, and its people transferred their abode to an island in the sea called Zarun, near the continent, lying west of the old city.») and Odoric for the date.
- Battutah, Ibn (2002). The Travels of Ibn Battutah. London: Picador. pp. 98–99, 308. ISBN 9780330418799.
- 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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