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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 December, 2003, 21:13 GMT
In pictures: Bam before and after
Iran's 2,000-year-old citadel at Bam before the earthquake
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The historic citadel at Bam was one of the treasures of Iran, dating back to pre-Islamic times.
Side view of Bam's citadel before the earthquake
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It was built entirely of mud bricks, clay, straw and trunks of palm trees - it was the largest adobe structure in the world.
Tourists walk through arches at the citadel before the earthquake
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The city was used as army barracks until 1932 and then abandoned, but work began on restoring it in 1953.
A child poses for a photo with the Bam's medieval fortress in the background
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It attracted thousands of tourists each year.
Destruction of the historic fortress of Bam
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But Friday's devastating earthquake has virtually levelled the historic heart of Bam.
Pictures of the Bam citadel taken in December 2003 and in 1975
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A composite of pictures taken after the earthquake and, below, in 1975 from the same vantage point.
An Iranian man stands among the ruins in the devastated city of Bam
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The United Nations' cultural agency, Unesco, has asked for permission to send experts to assess the damage.

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