Fortresses in Iran

176 Monday, Jun 22, 2020

The Persian Empire was once a great conqueror, but despite its power, the rulers defended their territories, building huge fortresses for centuries.

Fortresses were built in all major cities, and many of them were preserved in excellent condition. In many historical tours to Iran, the visit to to the major ancient mysterious fortresses is necessarily included and today we will tell you about some of them:

Fortresses in Iran: Falak-ol-Aflak Castle
The majestic fortress of Falak-ol-Aflak is located in the province of Lorestan, in the capital of Horramabad. It was built during the reign of the Sassanid dynasty (3rd century AD). The fortress was preserved in excellent condition and on this example, it is possible to imagine what Persia looked like and how the country developed. The name of the fortress changed many times: it was called the fortress of 12 towers, Hurramabad, Shapur-hast and, finally, Falak-ol-Aflak. The castle had 12 towers, of which only 8 were preserved and that’s why once it was called “the fortress of 12 towers”. Falak-ol-Aflak occupies an area of 5300 square meters, the longest wall is 22.5 meters. The location of the castle on a high hill is not accidental: the material from which it was built spoils from humidity, and on the hill the walls of the castle are blown by the wind, which protects them from moisture. The fortress of Falak-ol-Aflak, being the main attraction of Horramadab, was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Now in its territory, there is a well, hammam and two museums.
 
Fortresses in Iran: Bam
The fortress of Bam, built before our era, was located at the intersection of the roads of the Great Silk Road, and one can imagine the role of the castle for the country. The fortress covers an area of 180,000 square meters, it was built of brick, wood and clay. The fortress was surrounded by a large defensive moat, but more often it harmed the walls of the castle – during the invasions, the moat was filled with water, which made the walls weak and vulnerable and exposed the fortress to greater danger.
The ancient city of Bam and its fortress are considered the most important sights of Iran. The city itself is a living proof of the greatness of ancient Persia, and visiting the castle is an essential part of getting acquainted with the country and its culture. Walking along the walls of the fortress, you will feel the spirit of the ancient city, all the storms through which it passed.
Behind the walls of the fortress, there are mausoleums, a mosque and other constructions of different eras. Unfortunately, most of the fortifications were destroyed during the earthquake in 2003.
 
Fortresses in Iran: Alamut
The fortress was built in the 9th century and was the strategic center of the Assassins led by Hassan ibn Sabbah. Despite the strong walls, the construction was captured during the Mongolian attack in 1256. The castle had a well-known library storing a huge number of historical documents, but during the Mongolian raid, it was burnt. In the fire, the evidence of Islamists was lost.
The majesty and mystery of the fortress inspired many poets and artists. The atmosphere of this territory can not be expressed in words, and only after visiting the castle, one can feel the spirit of antiquity.
Today, having lost its strategic importance, the fortress of Alamut is one of the popular attractions in Qazvin.
 
Fortresses in Iran: Narin-Kale
Narin-Kale is located in one of the most ancient provinces of Iran, in Yazd. The castle was built over 2000 years ago, but still its walls are strong. Reaching 40 meters in height, the fortress attracts from afar, and from its highest point, a beautiful view of the city opens.
On the territory of Narin-Kale, the sewage system was built 2000 years ago and it was unique for those times. There are also ventilation ladders, which provided air circulation. These buildings are unique proof of developed civilization development in ancient Persia.
 
Fortresses in Iran: Rudhan
At the end of a dense forest, on a high hill there is located Rudhan castle. The road to the castle is quite difficult: there are 1000 steps leading to it, however, as soon as you step on the last one a unique fortress open by your eyes. Rudkhan Fortress is located in Fuman, Gulan Province, at an altitude of 700 meters above sea level.
The fortress was built in the 11th century, during the reign of the Seljukids, and, thanks to the location of the castle, it was never conquered. On both sides of the fortress, there are two rivers (“Rudhane” is translated as a river). Rudhan is also called the fortress of 1000 steps or Hisami.
The fortress covers an area of two hectares, and there are several buildings behind the walls of the fortress: the main building where the owner of the castle lived with a harem, and an arsenal where weapons were stored and soldiers lived. On the territory, there were also houses, a hammam, a spring and a reservoir. In the eastern part of the fortress, there was a prison and defensive structures. In total, the castle has about 65 watchtowers. The walls are quite strong, and, despite the high level of humidity of the terrain, they are kept in excellent condition.