Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Takht-e Soleymān; Manifestation of Persian Civilization

Iranian ancient citadel Takht-e Soleyman (Throne of Solomon), known to be a Zoroastrian fire temple, manifests Persian glorious civilization.

Takht-e Soleymān means ‘Throne of Solomon’ . It is located in north-western Iran, in a broad and remote mountain valley between cities of Zanjan and Tekab. The site consists of an oval platform around 350 by 550 square meters.

In earlier ancient period the area was known as ‘Shiz’ or ‘Adur Gushnasp’; which literally means the ‘Fire of the Warrior Kings’. The area’s name changed to”Throne of Solomon” after the Arab conquest.

Built during the Sassanid era, the ruins introduce the principal Zoroastrian sanctuary and a Sassanid temple dedicated to Anahita, the goddess of water and fertility in ancient Persian mythology.

Fire and water have been among the fundamental elements for the Iranian peoples since ancient times. Zoroastrian people believe that fire conceives a divine messenger between the visible world and the invisible (the one of gods); and consider water as the source of life.

Takht-e Soleymān includes a lake with floor springs, surrounded by massive stone walls and 38 towers.

There is also a volcanic conical core mount near the area; which is known as Solomon’s Prison (Zendan-e Soleyman).

The 107-meter tall mount has a giant hole on top, with 65meter span and nearly 80 meter depth.

Centuries ago, floor springs fed the hole and made it full of water. However the hole dried up after an earth quake.

The structures partly restored in the Mongol period (Ilkhanid) in 13th century. The designs of the fire temple, the palace and the general layout have strongly influenced the development of Islamic architecture.

Archaeological excavations have unveiled traces of an occupation during the Achaemenid period, as well as later Parthian settlements in the citadel.

Persia was a conquering empire, but also one of the more glorious and benevolent civilizations of antiquity.

As an outstanding ensemble of royal architecture, Takht-e Soleyman (Throne of Solomon) was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list on July 3, 2003.

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