Hormuz Island
Hormuz Island also spelled Hormoz, is an Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

ian island in the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

. It is located in the Strait of Hormuz
Strait of Hormuz
The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow, strategically important waterway between the Gulf of Oman in the southeast and the Persian Gulf. On the north coast is Iran and on the south coast is the United Arab Emirates and Musandam, an exclave of Oman....

 and is part of the Hormozgān Province
Hormozgan Province
Hormozgan Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the south of the country, facing Oman. Its area is , and its provincial capital is Bandar Abbas...



Hormoz Island has an area of 42 km² (16.2 sq mi). It is covered by sedimentary rock
Sedimentary rock
Sedimentary rock are types of rock that are formed by the deposition of material at the Earth's surface and within bodies of water. Sedimentation is the collective name for processes that cause mineral and/or organic particles to settle and accumulate or minerals to precipitate from a solution....

 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
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

, the soil and water are salty. Specialists have helped cultivar
A cultivar'Cultivar has two meanings as explained under Formal definition. When used in reference to a taxon, the word does not apply to an individual plant but to all those plants sharing the unique characteristics that define the cultivar. is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable...

 Hara trees
Avicennia marina
Avicennia marina, commonly known as grey mangrove or white mangrove, is a species of mangrove tree classified in the plant family Acanthaceae...

 to grow in the climate. Due to the lack of fresh water, Iranian engineers piped water from the mainland of Iran underground.


The island was known as Organa 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. Around the year of 1300 its ruler decided to shift his residence to the island in order to evade attacks by Mongolian and Turkish groups from the interior.

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
Zheng He
Zheng He , also known as Ma Sanbao and Hajji Mahmud Shamsuddin was a Hui-Chinese mariner, explorer, diplomat and fleet admiral, who commanded voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and East Africa, collectively referred to as the Voyages of Zheng He or Voyages of Cheng Ho from...

The island was conquered by the Portuguese explorer Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque[p][n] was a Portuguese fidalgo, or nobleman, an admiral whose military and administrative activities as second governor of Portuguese India conquered and established the Portuguese colonial empire in the Indian Ocean...

 in the Capture of Ormuz (1507)
Capture of Ormuz (1507)
The Capture of Ormuz in 1507 occurred when the Portuguese Afonso de Albuquerque attacked Hormuz Island to establish the Castle of Ormuz. This conquest gave the Portuguese full control of the trade between India and Europe passing through the Persian Gulf....

 and became a part of the Portuguese Empire
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

. There is a historic Portuguese
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 fortress on Hormuz Island, the Fort of Our Lady of the Conception. The island was then captured by a combined Anglo
Anglo is a prefix indicating a relation to the Angles, England or the English people, as in the terms Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-American, Anglo-Celtic, Anglo-African and Anglo-Indian. It is often used alone, somewhat loosely, to refer to people of British Isles descent in The Americas, Australia and...

-Persian force in 1622 in the Capture of Ormuz (1622)
Capture of Ormuz (1622)
In the 1622 Capture of Ormuz, a Anglo-Persian force combined to take over the Portuguese garrison at Hormuz Island, thus opening up Persian trade with England...


Shah Abbas I was not interested to maintain the island as a trading center and developped 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 ochards around the old Hormuz on the mainland, only fishermen being in permanent residence. The island continued to export small qantities 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 since the later years of the 20th century.
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