"Qaleh Roudkhan", a village with attractive landscape
"Qaleh Roudkhan" village is located 22 km southwest of the city of Fouman in Gilan Province, in a mountainous region.
The residential fiber of this village is nearly centralized and it has a mountainous moderate climate. Roudkhan is short for Roudkhaneh or river, and Qaleh Roudkhan is a castle in the vicinity of a river which in the past used to be one of the residences of Gilan's rulers. The people of this village speak Taleshi and Gilaki, which are the common languages in this region. A lion's share of these villagers' incomes is from farming, animal husbandry, and breeding silkworm. This village has a picturesque landscape. The houses are normally two floors. Their floor is made of wooden and mud-and-straw logs. The ground floor is used throughout the winter, while the upper floor and balcony are used in the summer. The majority of these villagers use local clothing. Women prepare handicrafts in their spare time. This village's handcrafts include a variety of woolen knitted clothing, scarves, socks, chadors, and gloves. The residents of this village, like villages in other regions of Iran, perform special ceremonies on different occasions. One of the most important ceremonies of this village is the one in which the participants sing poems prior to the Iranian New Year "Norouz". Other ceremonies include firing a gun to seek sunshine; cooking soup to pray for rainfall; and special ceremonies that are held when rice is harvested.
What has made this village famous is the existence of a castle in its vicinity. According to experts, the castle dates back to the Sassanid era (3rd to 7th Century AD). It was rebuilt throughout the 11th and 12th Century AD, during the Seljuqid era, and was one of the strongholds of the Ismailis. This castle named Qaleh Roudkhan is also well-known as Qaleh Kohan; Qaleh Hesami; and Qaleh Hezarpelleh.
This huge castle is located on the pinnacle of a mountain in the heart of the forest, twenty km southwest of Fouman. To reach this castle, one has to go through the city of Fouman and a number of villages. Then you have to cover a three kilometer distance on foot, before climbing the numerous steps. This scenic landscape with ever-green forests and turbulent river has become well-known as "Daalaan-e Behesht" or Corridors of Paradise among people and mountaineers. Spring and summer are the best seasons for visiting this beautiful region. However, enthusiasts can visit this beautiful castle in all seasons.
As we said earlier Qaleh Roudkhan used to be one of the important historical castles and a residence of Gilan's rulers. It is considered as one of the largest and most magnificent historical fortresses of Gilan and even Iran. Qaleh Roudkhan covers 50,000 square meters and is located at a 600-meter-plus altitude. Its wall is 1,500 meters in length. For the first time in the year 1830, Alexander Khechco, the Polish-Russian researcher conducted archeological studies about this castle. He writes: "Qaleh Roudkhan is a fortress on the peak of the mountain, in the vicinity of a river with the same name. Its roof is made of stones, and bricks. On the sides of the entry gate, there are two bastions and over the main entry gate there is a manuscript, according to which this castle has been renovated through 918 AH to 921 AH.
This manuscript is currently kept at the museum of the city of Rasht.
Qaleh Roudkhan could be called a one of the wonders of Gilan's architecture. Selection of an appropriate location; usage of strong construction materials; application of different architectural styles; formation of a variety of geometrical shapes has bestowed special grandeur to this complex. The general form of the castle is irregular and consists of two western and eastern sections. Forty watchtowers surround the castle, while their octagonal chambers are covered with vaulted roofs. Throughout the walls and towers there are holes with slopes inclined outwards, formed to pour molten substances and boiling water and to shoot at the enemy without being seen. Based on historical evidence, no attacker ever managed to penetrate or conquer this castle, which proves the high skills and technology of the architects of this building in the fields of military sciences and the science of architecture.
This castle has two sections, namely one royal residence for the king and royal family, and another residence for soldiers and military activities. The royal residence is a 2-storey brick building located in the western section. The residences of soldiers are also 2-storeyed and are located in the eastern section of this castle. It completely dominates the surrounding environment. There is a spring in the middle of the castle at its deepest location. The eastern section of the castle includes twelve entry gates, a prison, an emergency door, and a bathroom. The western section of the castle also has twelve entry gates. A spring, a pond, a water store; a cool house, a bathroom, and a number of residential units surrounded with towers are the other buildings of this section.
In general, Qaleh Roudkhan is an important historical monument that has passed the test of time. This castle is currently visited by tourists from Iran and other parts of the world. http://english.irib.ir/radioculture/ira ... -landscape