"Azar Goshnasp" Takht-e Soleyman by Behi

Takht-e Soleyman Travel Guide: 28 reviews and 168 photos

Azar Goshnasp (Takht-e Soleyman) is an outstanding archeological site with substantial Sasanian and Ilkhanid ruins in Azarbaijan-e Gharbi province, about 30km northeast of Takab & 400km west of Tehran. situated in a valley set in a volcanic mountain region.

The originally fortified site, which is located on a crater rim, was recognized as a World Heritage Site in July 2003.

The Original name of the site is Athor Gushnasp in Pahlavi Persian & Azar Gushnasp in Modern Persian & sometimes wrongly Azar Gushasp which is one the three Great Fires, is the Fire Temple of the Warriors & Kings.
it is/was greatest Zoroastrian Fire Temple.

also called Ganjak in Pahlavi Persian texts, Gazka by Romans, Shiz by Islamic historian & Saturiq during the Ilkhanid period in the 14th cent.

Takht-e Soleyman(Throne of Solomon) is a name that given to the site after Islam in order to keep it safe from destruction by Arabs & next invaders.
Solomon belongs to Semitic legends, according to ancient texts and legends, he possessed a supernatural power & made demons to built such great place.

In the old Persia there were 3 main fire temple:
Azar Goshnasp the fire temple of warriors or kings.
Azar Franbagh the fire temple of the devouts.
Azar borzenmehr the fire temple of farmers.

Chronology:

According mythical History, Azar Goshnasp was founded by King Kai Khosrow.

Existing evidences reveal Mannaeans settlement & Temple in the area. (10th to 7th cent. Bc)

Zendan-e Suleiman the well ran dry in portohistoric times (probably 700-500 BC)

pottery and few small finds belong to Median Empire excavated in the Azar Goshnasp (728–550 Bc)

Recorded, after the Lydian conquest, a part of Croesus treasury dedicated & then thrown in the lake as vow by Cyrus the Great in 547 Bc.
Reveals Azar Goshnasp religious importance at beginning & then during Achaemend era (550–330 Bc)

Mithraism Mehrab & altar belong to Parthian Empire excavated in the Azar Goshnasp (248 Bc–224 AD)

Sassanid era (224–651) is pinnacle of glory & magnificence of Azar Goshnasp.
Sassanid Shahanshah should go on foot for coronation to Azar Goshnasp from Ctesiphon (Modern Baghdad).

Sassanids contracted & flourished more buildings specially during reign of Khosrau I (531–579) & Khosrau II (590–628) contracted famous Takht-e Taghdis.

Byzantine Emperor, Heraclius invaded & ruined Azar Goshnasp (627AD).
Magis thrown treasury in the lake.

destructed & pillaged by Arab invaders (645AD).
again treasury was drowned in the lake.

Small Zoroastrian group kept fire until 11th cent.

After the Mongol invasion, Abaqa, the second Il-khan of Persia, dislodged the inhabitants and had a palace built an the foundations of the ancient sanctuary.The palace was to be used mainly by women and princes of the Il-khanid dynasty. (1265)

The existence of the Saturiq lasted for approximately half a century only; no substantial amounts of post 14th century pottery was found. Its abandonment may have been a consequence of the Timurid conquest of Persia.

A first archeological survey was carried out by the American Institute of Iranian Art and Archaeology under Arthur Upham Pope in 1937.

Archeological excavations were conducted by the German Archealogical Institute together with the Iranian Antiquity Sevices Between 1959 and 1978.

It was recognized as a World Heritage Site in July 2003.

Zoroastrian held Gahanbar ceremony in Azar Goshnasp on August.

Some believes Azar Goshnasp is one of the earth Chakras & gather around lake on Oct 10th

Source:
http://www.takhtesoleiman.ir/english/history.htm
http://whc.unesco.org/pg.cfm?cid=31&id_site=1077
http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Archaeology/Sasanian/takhti_soleyman.htm
http://www.takhte-soleiman.com/English/etakhte-soleiman.aspx

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:Symbol of Zoroastrian religion glory for 7 Cent.
  • Last visit to Takht-e Soleyman: Jul 2008
  • Intro Updated Feb 5, 2009
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Reviews (24)

Comments (2)

  • picek's Profile Photo
    Jul 13, 2009 at 10:42 AM

    very nice place and useful tips. This would be interesting to see when I have chance

  • Veroali's Profile Photo
    Feb 15, 2009 at 9:32 AM

    Great tips and perfect photos of all Iran!

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