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Takht-e Soleyman-Takht-e Suleyman-Takhte Soleyma-Takht’e Soleiman-Takhte Soleiman

Helpful information about world heritage sites in Iran like name, introduction, maps, requirements and...

Takht-e Soleyman-Takht-e Suleyman-Takhte Soleyma-Takht’e Soleiman-Takhte Soleiman

Postby Mehdi » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:14 am

Introduction:Takht-e Soleyman-Takht-e Suleyman-Takhte Soleyma-Takht’e Soleiman-Takhte Soleiman (Persian: تخت سلیمان)

The archaeological site of Takht-e Soleyman, in north-western Iran, is situated in a valley set in a volcanic mountain region. The site includes the principal Zoroastrian sanctuary partly rebuilt in the Ilkhanid (Mongol) period (13th century) as well as a temple of the Sasanian period (6th and 7th centuries) dedicated to Anahita. The site has important symbolic significance. The designs of the fire temple, the palace and the general layout have strongly influenced the development of Islamic architecture.

Criterion i:
Takht-e Soleyman is an outstanding ensemble of royal architecture, joining the principal architectural elements created by the Sasanians in a harmonious composition inspired by their natural context.

Criterion ii:
The composition and the architectural elements created by the Sasanians at Takht-e Soleyman have had strong influence not only in the development of religious architecture in the Islamic period, but also in other cultures.

Criterion iii:
The ensemble of Takht-e Soleyman is an exceptional testimony of the continuation of cult related to fire and water over a period of some two and half millennia. The archaeological heritage of the site is further enriched by the Sasanian town, which is still to be excavated.

Criterion iv:
Takht-e Soleyman represents an outstanding example of Zoroastrian sanctuary, integrated with Sasanian palatial architecture within a composition, which can be seen as a prototype.

Criterion vi:
As the principal Zoroastrian sanctuary, Takht-e Soleyman is the foremost site associated with one of the early monotheistic religions of the world. The site has many important symbolic relationships, being also a testimony of the association of the ancient beliefs, much earlier than the Zoroastrianism, as well as in its association with significant biblical figures and legends.

Long Description
Takht-e Soleyman is an outstanding ensemble of royal architecture, joining the principal architectural elements created by the Sassanians in a harmonious composition inspired by their natural context. The composition and the architectural elements created by the Sassanians there have exerted a strong influence not only in the development of religious architecture in the Islamic period, but also in other cultures. The ensemble represents an outstanding example of a Zoroastrian sanctuary, integrated with Sassanian palatial architecture within a composition, which can be seen as a prototype.

It is an exceptional testimony of the continuation of a cult related to fire and water over a period of some two-and-a-half millennia. The archaeological heritage of the site is further enriched by the Sassanian town, which is still to be excavated.

Takht-e Soleyman is situated in Azerbaijan province, within a mountainous region, some 750 km from Teheran. It is formed from plain, surrounded by a mountain range and it contains a volcano and an artesian lake as essential elements of the site.

The site consists of an oval platform about 350 m by 550 m rising 60 m above the surrounding valley. It has a small calcareous artesian well that has formed a lake some 120 m deep. From here, small streams bring water to surrounding lands. The Sassanians occupied the site starting in the 5th century, building there the royal sanctuary on the platform. The sanctuary was enclosed by a stone wall 13m high, with 38 towers and two entrances (north and south). This wall apparently had mainly symbolic significance as no gate has been discovered. The main buildings are on the north side of the lake, forming an almost square compound (sides c . 180 m) with the Zoroastrian Fire Temple (Azargoshnasb) in the centre. This temple, built from fired bricks, is square in plan. To the east of the Temple there is another square hall reserved for the 'everlasting fire'. Further to the east there is the Anahita temple, also square in plan. The royal residences are situated to the west of the temples.

The lake is an integral part of the composition and was surrounded by a rectangular 'fence'. In the north-west corner of this once fenced area, there is the so-called Western iwan , 'Khosrow gallery', built as a massive brick vault, characteristic of Sassanian architecture. The surfaces were rendered in lime plaster with decorative features in muqarnas (stalactite ceiling decoration) and stucco. The site was destroyed at the end of the Sassanian period, and left to decay. It was revived in the 13th century under the Mongol occupation, and some parts were rebuilt, such as the Zoroastrian fire temple and the Western iwan . New constructions were built around the lake, including two octagonal towers behind the iwan decorated in glazed tiles and ceramics. A new entrance was opened through the main walls, in the southern axis of the complex. It is noted that the surrounding lands in the valley (included in the buffer zone) contain the remains of the Sassanian town, which has not been excavated. A brick kiln dating from the Mongol period has been found 600 m south of Takht-e Soleyman. The mountain to the east was used by the Sassanians as a quarry for building stone.

Zendan-e Soleyman is a hollow, conical mountain, an ancient volcano, some 3 km to the west of Takht-e Soleyman. It rises about 100 m above the surrounding land, and contains an 80 m deep hole, about 65 m in diameter, formerly filled with water. Around the top of the mountain, there are remains of a series of shrines and temples that have been dated to the 1st millennium BCE.

The Belqeis Mountain (c . 3,200 m), is situated 7.5 km north-east of Takht-e Soleyman. On the highest part there are remains of a citadel (an area of 60 m by 50 m), dating to the Sassanian era, built from yellow sandstone. The explorations that have been carried out so far on the site indicate that the citadel would have contained another fire temple. Its orientation indicates a close relationship with Takht-e Soleyman.

Historical Description
Historical background: The Persian Empire was founded by the Achaemenid dynasty (6th to 4th centuries BCE). Subsequently, a new empire was established by the Parthians (2nd BCE to 3rd CE), who were conscious of their Persian identity, even though under strong Hellenistic influence. The following Sasanian Empire (3rd to 7th CE), re-established the Persian leadership in the region, and was successful in forming a counterforce to the Roman Empire. Basing on the Achaemenid heritage and the impact of the Hellenistic-Parthian period, the Sasanians developed new artistic and architectural solutions. Their architecture had important influence in the east as well as in the west; it became a major reference for the development of architecture in the Islamic period.

Religious context: Fire and water have been among the fundamental elements for the Iranian peoples since ancient times. Fire was conceived a divine messenger between the visible world and the invisible (gods). Water was the source of life. Volcanic regions were thus of particular interest, especially when there was the presence of water as it was the case of Takht-e Suleiman.

Zoroastrianism is an Iranian religion, and has its origin in Prophet Zarathustra, who probably lived in the 7th century BCE or earlier. This religion is characterized by its monotheistic aspect related to Ahuramazda, and it recognizes the conflict between good and evil forces. Ahuramazda was worshiped by the early Achaemenids, whose rituals took place in the open on fire altars, without any temples. With the revival of new nationalism, the Sasanians established Zoroastrianism as a state religion, building fire temples for the cult. Zoroastrianism has had an important influence on Christianity and Islam, and it is still a living religion, practised in Iran, India and Central Asia.

The Sasanians also recognized the cult of Anahita, the goddess of earth, associated with water. A temple of Anahita is included in the complex of Takht-e Suleiman.

The early period: The volcanic site where the Sasanians built their sanctuary, Azargoshnasb (Fire temple of the Knights), later called Takht-e Suleiman (Throne of Solomon), has been subject to worship for a long time. The hollow, volcanic mountain, called Zendan-e Suleiman (the prison of Solomon) is surrounded by the remains of temples or shrines, dated to the first millennium BCE. These are associated with the Manas, who ruled the region from 830 to 660 BCE. The crater was once full of water, but has later dried out.

The Sasanian period: With the arrival of the Sasanians (5th century CE), Zendan-e Suleiman lost its importance in favour of Takht-e Suleiman, where construction started in mid 5th century CE, during the reign of the Sasanian king Peroz (459-484 CE). The site became a royal Zoroastrian sanctuary under Khosrow I (531-579) and Khosrow II (591-628), and it was the most important of the three main Zoroastrians sanctuaries. The other two have not been identified so far.

The construction of this temple site coincides with the introduction of Christianity as the main religion in the Roman Empire. The need to strengthen Zoroastrianism can thus be seen as an effort to reinforce national identity as a counterpoint to Christianity in the Roman world. The importance of Takht-e Suleiman was further increased with the introduction of the cult of Anahita. The royal ensemble was surrounded by an urban settlement on the plain. The site was destroyed by the Byzantine army in 627, a counter measure to the Sasanian attack to their territories.

Mongol period: The site regained importance in the 13th century, when the Ilkhanid Mongols rebuilt part of it as a residence for Ilkhan Aba-Qaan, then the ruler of Iran. The reconstruction phase included the fire temple and the western Iwan, as well as new structures around the lake. The Mongol rehabilitation shows cultural continuity, which is particularly interesting in the revival of Zoroastrian faith in the middle of the Islamic period. Due to its natural and cultural qualities, the site has been associated with various legendary and biblical characters and issues, such as Solomon, Christ, earthly paradise, Holy Graal, etc.

Later phases: After the Ilkhanid period, from the mid 14th century, the site was abandoned and gradually fell into ruins. It was rediscovered by the British traveller, Sir Robert Ker Porter in 1819, followed by other explorers. In 1937, the site was photographed by Erich F. Schmidt, and surveyed by Arthur U. Pope and Donald N. Wilber. In 1958 it was explored by Swedish archaeologists. The first systematic excavation was undertaken by the German Archaeological Institute under R. Naumann and D. Huff, in the 1970s.


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Location: Takab, west Azarbayjan

Walking path length: Just a few hundred meters

Days of trip: 2-3 Days from Tehran to Tehran (Without heavy traffic you need about 8 hr driving from Tehran to the cave)
Attention: In holidays there is heavy traffic in all roads around Tehran.

Best time to visit: May to October

Daily time visit: No permission at night

Difficulty level: Easy

Requirements: Guide or GPS track, water, food, warm and waterproof clothes and tent, waterproof shoes, headlamp

Legal permission need: No, Just a ticket


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Overall risk: -

Animal risk: No

Lost risk: No

Rescue: Yes, you can call 115

GSM Mobile Antenna: Yes


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Hotel: No, but there is a camp site in about 3 km

Village: Yes, near the site

Shop: Yes

Gasoline: Yes, in the village


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How to get there:
1- Go to west terminal of buses in Tehran (more info)
2- Take a bus to Takab
3- Take a taxi from Takab to the site


Nearest airport: No airport less than 100 km

Nearest train station: No station less than 100 km


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Location on map:




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Re: Pictures of Takht-e Soleyman

Postby Sary_M » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:38 am

Mehdi wrote:Image

like it!
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Re: Takht-e Soleyman

Postby Parvaneh » Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:12 pm

The archaeological site of Takht-e Soleyman, in north-western Iran, is an outstanding ensemble of a Zoroastrian sanctuary. Integrated with Sassanian royal architecture within a composition, it can be seen as a prototype.

Takht-e Soleyman (the Throne of Solomon) consists of an oval platform about 350 m by 550 m rising above the surrounding valley. It has a small calcareous artesian well that has formed a lake some 120 m deep.

The composition and the architectural elements created by the Sassanians there have exerted a strong influence not only in the development of religious architecture in the Islamic period, but also in other cultures.

It is an exceptional testimony of the continuation of a cult related to fire and water over a period of some two-and-a-half millennia. The archaeological heritage of the site is further enriched by the Sassanian town, which is still to be excavated.
The Sassanians occupied the site starting in the 5th century, building there the royal sanctuary on the platform. The sanctuary was enclosed by a stone wall 13m high, with 38 towers and two entrances (north and south). This wall apparently had mainly symbolic significance as no gate has been discovered. The main buildings are on the north side of the lake, forming an almost square compound (sides c. 180 m) with the Zoroastrian Fire Temple (Azargoshnasb) in the centre. This temple, built from fired bricks, is square in plan. To the east of the Temple there is another square hall reserved for the 'everlasting fire'. Further to the east there is the Anahita temple, also square in plan.

The royal residences are situated to the west of the temples.
The lake is an integral part of the composition and was surrounded by a rectangular 'fence'. In the north-west corner of this once fenced area, there is the so-called Western iwan, 'Khosrow gallery', built as a massive brick vault, characteristic of Sassanian architecture. The surfaces were rendered in lime plaster with decorative features in muqarnas (stalactite ceiling decoration) and stucco. The site was destroyed at the end of the Sassanian period, and left to decay.

It was revived in the 13th century under the Mongol occupation, and some parts were rebuilt, such as the Zoroastrian fire temple and the Western iwan. New constructions were built around the lake, including two octagonal towers behind the iwan decorated in glazed tiles and ceramics. A new entrance was opened through the main walls, in the southern axis of the complex. It is noted that the surrounding lands in the valley (included in the buffer zone) contain the remains of the Sassanian town, which has not been excavated. A brick kiln dating from the Mongol period has been found 600 m south of Takht-e Soleyman. The mountain to the east was used by the Sassanians as a quarry for building stone.
Zendan-e Soleyman is a hollow, conical mountain, an ancient volcano, some 3 km to the west of Takht-e Soleyman. It rises about 100 m above the surrounding land, and contains an 80 m deep hole, about 65 m in diameter, formerly filled with water. Around the top of the mountain, there are remains of a series of shrines and temples that have been dated to the 1st millennium BCE.

The Belqeis Mountain (c. 3,200 m), is situated 7.5 km north-east of Takht-e Soleyman. On the highest part there are remains of a citadel (an area of 60 m by 50 m), dating to the Sassanian era, built from yellow sandstone. The explorations that have been carried out so far on the site indicate that the citadel would have contained another fire temple. Its orientation indicates a close relationship with Takht-e Soleyman.
The property is situated in Azerbaijan Province within a mountainous region some 750 km from Teheran.
(Source: UNESCO)

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Re: Takht-e Soleyman

Postby Parvaneh » Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:12 pm

riant Names Abaqa's Hunting Palace, Palace of Abaqa Khan, Takht-i Sulaiman, Takht-e Soleiman, Takht-i Suleiman
Location Takht-i Sulaiman, Iran
Client Abaqa Khan
Date 1270-75/668-73 AH
Style/Period Il-Khanid
Century 13th
Building Type palatial
Building Usage palace


Abaqa's Hunting Palace was a palace outpost built between 1270 and 1275 by Abaqa Khan (1265-1282) on a site that had been important and built upon as early as the Sassanian dynasty. Takht-i Sulaiman was known as Saturiq during the Il-Khanid period and as Shiz during Sassanian times. It is believed to have been the birthplace of Zoroaster, and it was there that the sacred fire temple of Adhure Gushnasp, which provided the fire for other fire temples, was found. The site, atop an extinct volcano 2150 meters above sea level, is located 200 miles south of Tabriz and southeast of Lake Urmia. The extinct crater of the volcano formed a lake atop the plateau measuring from 75 to 160 meters. Programmatically, the palace served as a summer retreat, recalling the yaylaq, or summer pastures, of Mongol nomads, albeit in permanent and monumental form. Only ruins of the site remain today; these were excavated in 1959 and 1978 by the German Archaeological Institute.

A fortified wall with semi-cylindrical bastions at regular intervals surrounds the entire site, forming an oval that dates from as early as the Sassanian period. The core of the Sassanian buildings was located to the north of the oval and reached through a gate at the north of the fortified wall. Although some of Abaqa Khan's Il-Khanid buildings were constructed on the foundations of the earlier Sassanian buildings, the complex of the palace proper was built further south, within the oval, not integrating the Sassanian core to its north. The northern gate was blocked and turned into an iwan, and another gate was made on axis with it to the south; this long portal gate became the only point of entry to the palace.

The entire complex is oriented in a south-southeast direction, apparently in relation to a long-established Mongol preference of erecting tents in that direction to maximize sun exposure. The courtyard palace stands towards the southern side of the fortified oval enclosure. It was was based on a four-iwan courtyard plan, albeit with variations. Containing the lake within its walls, the arcaded palace perimeter walls measured approximately 120 by 148 meters, making it one of the largest in Iran. The most important variation to the four-iwan plan is the location of the two lateral east and west iwans at the northern edge of the lateral walls rather than at the center. At the center of the north iwan is a large staircase that leads to a square domed structure, a chahar taq, enclosed by a wall. The west iwan is 17 meters deep and leads to a transverse rectangular hall that is flanked by a domed octagonal chamber to the north and to the south. A series of rooms abut the west courtyard perimeter wall, including a dodecagon to the north, a four-iwan structure with a domed central space, and a four-iwan structure with a central courtyard. There are also three enclosed four arch square structures on the site, one located to the north of the palace, one to the west and one to the east adjoining the courtyard wall.

Entered through a gate at the south of the oval fortified walls, a long portal composed of two large rectangular enclosures precede the southern iwan of the palace courtyard. The courtyard itself is lined with an arcade on all sides. On the northern side of the lake, on axis with the south iwan, is the north iwan. Serving as the ceremonial iwan, it contained a large staircase at its center that led to the chahar taq, enclosed by a wall. The main component of the palace as built by Abaqa Khan is the cluster of buildings that are connected to the west iwan. This part of the palace was almost certainly the residential quarters. The deep iwan leads into a rectangular hall that gives access to a domed octagonal hall to the north and to the south, while a semi-octagonal structure projects from it to the west. Although the program attributed to each chamber has not been ascertained, they may have served as banquet and reception halls and sleeping chambers. Likewise, the function of the series of structures abutting the west wall of the place is uncertain. However, considering the serial procession required to access the dodecagon structure to the north, it may have functioned as the treasury.

Remnants of various decoration types and techniques were found at the site, including green marble tile flooring, glazed tiles with accents of gold in star and geometric shapes, tiles depicting Chinese motifs such as the dragon and the phoenix, and inscription bands with verses from the Shahnama, the national epic of Persia. Remnants of stucco muqarnas vaults, particularly in the west iwan, were also found. A stucco plaque showing a geometrical drawing for the construction of a muqarnas vault showed that the technique was already advanced in the Ilkhanid period. Kilns were also found, revealing that at least part of the tile work was done on site.

Sources: http://archnet.org/library/sites/one-si ... e_id=15162

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Re: Takht-e Soleyman-Takht-e Suleyman-Takhte Soleyma-Takht’e Soleiman-Takhte Soleiman

Postby Parvaneh » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:51 pm

Takht’e Soleiman is an archaeological site in West Azerbaijan, Iran. It lies midway between Urmia and Hamedan, in a valley set in a volcanic mountain region, close to the present-day town of Takab, and 400 kilometers west of Tehran. The site includes the principal Zoroastrian sanctuary partly rebuilt in the Ilkhanid (Mongol) period (13th century) as well as a temple of the Sassanid period (6th and 7th centuries) dedicated to Anahita. According to studies carried out by Iranian and foreign, Takht’e Soleiman saw four stages of construction during the Sassanid era. The Ilkhanids, a Mongol people who ruled eastern Iran from 1256 to 1349, also added some structures to the monument in five stages.


Takht’e Soleiman consisted of a fire temple called Azargoshasb in the Sassanid era when the temple was at its apogee. Azargoshasb was one of the three main fire temples built around the lake located in the region, at the order of Khosro Anooshirvan, who ruled the Sassanid Empire from 531 to 579 CE. This Zoroastrian fire temple housed one of the three "Great Fires" or "Royal Fires" that Sassanid rulers humbled themselves before in order to ascend the throne. At its heyday during the Sassanid era, the Azargoshasb fire temple burned for some 7 centuries as a symbol of the strength of Zoroastrianism. Studies indicate that Takht’e Soleiman had been converted into a township comprised of a bazaar, a mosque, a bath house, and housing units after the Ilkhanids devastated the royal monuments of the site. Abagha, Hulegu's successor, expelled people from the township, but they returned after his death in 1282.


The earliest settlement on the hill was a rather small and poor agglomeration of houses with stone socles and clay or mud brick walls at about 60 meters northwest of the lake. It is dated into the Achaemenid period by pottery and other finds. During the Parthian period a small fortification was built at the northern edge of the lake. The lower part of the northern stone gate is covered with debris. Only the upper part, that is less than half of the gate height, is visible today. When Takht’e Soleiman was under the control of the Sassanids, the region was further fortified. An enormous wall was built to enclose everything and nearly forty towers were erected for defense. In the early 7th century the region fell under Roman control. The Romans pillaged and destroyed Takht’e Soleyman, and the Fire Temple of Azargoshasb.


Folk legend relates that King Solomon used to imprison monsters inside the 100 meter deep crater of the nearby "Prison of Solomon". Another crater inside the fortification itself is filled with spring water; Solomon is said to have created a flowing pond that still exists today. A 4th century Armenian manuscript relating to Jesus and Zoroaster, and various historians of the Islamic period, mention this pond. The foundations of the fire temple around the pond is attributed to that legend. Nevertheless, Solomon belongs to Semitic legends and therefore, the lore and namesake (Solomon's Throne) should have been formed following Islamic conquest of Persia. After the Conquest, the Arabs sought to destroy anything Zoroastrian or Persian, as these things were deemed to be contrary to Islam. In order to avoid this, the Persians changed the names of many sites and monuments to save them from destruction.


Archaeological excavations have revealed traces of a 5th century BC occupation during the Achaemenid period, as well as later Parthian settlements in the citadel. Coins belonging to the reign of Sassanid kings, and that of the Byzantine emperor Theodosius II (AD 408-450), have also been discovered there. Also as recent as 2005, archaeologists unearthed over 1,300 clay seals in a storage room. The seals were used on parcels, letters, and merchandise sent to other cities with the names of the cities receiving the parcels, letters, and merchandise from Takht’e Soleiman having been inscribed on the seals. Furthermore Iranian archeologists discovered a water mill which is believed to be from the Sassanid period; the first time that a Sassanid water mill is reported to have been found in Iran proper. The water mill is 17 meters high and 6 to 7 meters wide. Water was directed to this mill from Takht’e Soleiman Lake through a canal and entered the mill from a raised ground with a high pressure.


Takht’e Soleiman was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2003.


http://historicaliran.blogspot.com/2010 ... eiman.html


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Takht_e Soleyman

Postby Parvaneh » Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:40 am

Criterion i:
Takht-e Soleyman is an outstanding ensemble of royal architecture, joining the principal architectural elements created by the Sasanians in a harmonious composition inspired by their natural context.

Criterion ii:
The composition and the architectural elements created by the Sasanians at Takht-e Soleyman have had strong influence not only in the development of religious architecture in the Islamic period, but also in other cultures.

Criterion iii:
The ensemble of Takht-e Soleyman is an exceptional testimony of the continuation of cult related to fire and water over a period of some two and half millennia. The archaeological heritage of the site is further enriched by the Sasanian town, which is still to be excavated.

Criterion iv:
Takht-e Soleyman represents an outstanding example of Zoroastrian sanctuary, integrated with Sasanian palatial architecture within a composition, which can be seen as a prototype.

Criterion vi:
As the principal Zoroastrian sanctuary, Takht-e Soleyman is the foremost site associated with one of the early monotheistic religions of the world. The site has many important symbolic relationships, being also a testimony of the association of the ancient beliefs, much earlier than the Zoroastrianism, as well as in its association with significant biblical figures and legends.
Long Description

Takht-e Soleyman is an outstanding ensemble of royal architecture, joining the principal architectural elements created by the Sassanians in a harmonious composition inspired by their natural context. The composition and the architectural elements created by the Sassanians there have exerted a strong influence not only in the development of religious architecture in the Islamic period, but also in other cultures. The ensemble represents an outstanding example of a Zoroastrian sanctuary, integrated with Sassanian palatial architecture within a composition, which can be seen as a prototype.It is an exceptional testimony of the continuation of a cult related to fire and water over a period of some two-and-a-half millennia. The archaeological heritage of the site is further enriched by the Sassanian town, which is still to be excavated.

Takht-e Soleyman is situated in Azerbaijan province, within a mountainous region, some 750 km from Teheran. It is formed from plain, surrounded by a mountain range and it contains a volcano and an artesian lake as essential elements of the site.The site consists of an oval platform about 350 m by 550 m rising 60 m above the surrounding valley. It has a small calcareous artesian well that has formed a lake some 120 m deep. From here, small streams bring water to surrounding lands. The Sassanians occupied the site starting in the 5th century, building there the royal sanctuary on the platform. The sanctuary was enclosed by a stone wall 13m high, with 38 towers and two entrances (north and south). This wall apparently had mainly symbolic significance as no gate has been discovered. The main buildings are on the north side of the lake, forming an almost square compound (sides c. 180 m) with the Zoroastrian Fire Temple (Azargoshnasb) in the centre. This temple, built from fired bricks, is square in plan. To the east of the Temple there is another square hall reserved for the 'everlasting fire'. Further to the east there is the Anahita temple, also square in plan. The royal residences are situated to the west of the temples.

The lake is an integral part of the composition and was surrounded by a rectangular 'fence'. In the north-west corner of this once fenced area, there is the so-called Western iwan, 'Khosrow gallery', built as a massive brick vault, characteristic of Sassanian architecture. The surfaces were rendered in lime plaster with decorative features in muqarnas (stalactite ceiling decoration) and stucco. The site was destroyed at the end of the Sassanian period, and left to decay. It was revived in the 13th century under the Mongol occupation, and some parts were rebuilt, such as the Zoroastrian fire temple and the Western iwan. New constructions were built around the lake, including two octagonal towers behind the iwan decorated in glazed tiles and ceramics. A new entrance was opened through the main walls, in the southern axis of the complex. It is noted that the surrounding lands in the valley (included in the buffer zone) contain the remains of the Sassanian town, which has not been excavated. A brick kiln dating from the Mongol period has been found 600 m south of Takht-e Soleyman. The mountain to the east was used by the Sassanians as a quarry for building stone.

Zendan-e Soleyman is a hollow, conical mountain, an ancient volcano, some 3 km to the west of Takht-e Soleyman. It rises about 100 m above the surrounding land, and contains an 80 m deep hole, about 65 m in diameter, formerly filled with water. Around the top of the mountain, there are remains of a series of shrines and temples that have been dated to the 1st millennium BCE.

The Belqeis Mountain (c. 3,200 m), is situated 7.5 km north-east of Takht-e Soleyman. On the highest part there are remains of a citadel (an area of 60 m by 50 m), dating to the Sassanian era, built from yellow sandstone. The explorations that have been carried out so far on the site indicate that the citadel would have contained another fire temple. Its orientation indicates a close relationship with Takht-e Soleyman.


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Re: Takht-e Soleyman-Takht-e Suleyman-Takhte Soleyma-Takht’e Soleiman-Takhte Soleiman

Postby Parvaneh » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:57 am

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Re: Takht-e Soleyman-Takht-e Suleyman-Takhte Soleyma-Takht’e Soleiman-Takhte Soleiman

Postby Parvaneh » Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:45 am

Takht-e Solayman is one of the most important and well-known historical centers of Iran and global civilization, which has been registered by UNESCO as a global heritage. The human settlements in this region date back to three thousand years ago. This huge cultural and historical center which covers an area of 124,000 square meters has been the place of residence of Medes, Ashkanids, Sassanids, and Mongols in different periods of time. This cultural and historical center is unique in regard to its archeological value. Takht-e Solayman is in fact the remains of a huge fortress which is home to a number of Sassanid era monuments such as "Aazar Goshasb" fire place. This ancient fortress is oval-shaped and is located on an altitude. It is surrounded by a huge and solid wall, consisting of 38 defense towers. The average height of these walls is six to eight meters and their thickness stands at almost four meters. The wall and the outer fence date back to Sassanid era. The fallen parts of this wall have been renovated in 13th Century AD.

The peak of development and glory of "Takht-e Solayman" dates back to Sassanid era and 'Aazar Ghosasb' Fire Place has been constructed in this location as the most respected temple of that era. In the central and southern corner of this fortress, there is a beautiful semi-oval shaped lake. This lake is fed by several springs. The lake is 120 meters in length; 80 meters in width; and almost 65 meters in depth, while the surplus water of the lake goes out through its surrounding channels and is used for agricultural purposes. The water of this lake consists of numerous minerals. Therefore, sedimentation in channels is such that with the passage of time, wall-shaped bedding with a height of two meters has formed in one of the channels. This wall has long been known as the stone-made dragon.

Alongside Sassanid era buildings, this region is also home to remains of Mongols era buildings which have been decorated with plasterworks and tiling. The diversity of Islamic era tiles of Takht-e Solayman is such that these tiles are classified into different categories. But, the most important of these tiles are blue-colored ones which have been decorated with the paintings of legendary animals such as dragons.

In the pre-Islamic era, Takht-e Solayman was considered as the largest educational, religious, and social center for Iranians. However, in 624 AD it was destroyed during the attack of the Roman Emperor, Heraclius, on Iran. In addition to the ancient, historical, beautiful, and mysterious buildings of Takht-e Solayman region, there are also warm water springs, which remedy skin diseases and rheumatic aches. The existence of these springs, alongside the valuable and historical works of art, draws thousands of tourists to this region every year. Meanwhile, given that Takht-e Solayman is situated in a mountainous region with chilly and long winters and relatively cool summers, the best season for its visit is spring and the first half of summer season.

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