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Found in: Archaeological sites in Iran World Heritage Sites in Iran Iranian architecture Castles in Iran

For the similarly named locations see Takht-e-Sulaiman in Balochistan, and Sulayman Mountain near Osh, Kyrgyzstan.

Takht-e Soleyman, is an archaeological site in West Azarbaijan, Iran. It lies midway between Urumieh and Hamadan, very near the present-day town of Takab, and 400 km (250 miles) west of Tehran.

The originally fortified site, which is located on a crater rim, was recognized as a World Heritage Site in July 2003. It is likely equivalent for the ancient city of Phraaspa, capital of Atropatene. The citadel includes the remains of a Zoroastrian sanctuary built during the Sassanid period, and partially rebuilt during the Ilkhanid period. According to legend, the temple housed one the three "Great Fires" or "Royal Fires" (see Fire Temple). Sassanid rulers are said to have journeyed there to humble themselves at the fire altar before ascending the throne.

Folk legend relates that King Solomon used to imprison monsters inside the 100 m deep crater of the nearby Zendan-e Soleyman "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. 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. Another example is in the city of Pasargad, where they began referring to the tomb of Cyrus the Great as "Solomon's mother's tomb." A 4th century Armenian manuscript relating to Jesus and Zarathustra, and various historians of the Islamic period, mention this pond. The foundations of the fire temple around the pond is attributed to that legend.

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.

See also

Sassanid Dynasty

Derbent - another Sassanid fortress in the World Heritage List

[[:Category:Castles in Iran|List of Iranian castles]]

Iranian architecture

External links

Official Website

Takht-e Soleyman - UNESCO World Heritage Site

image from takht e suleiman

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Takht-i-Suleiman