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Sunday, 28-May-2006 02:46 Email | Share | Bookmark
Bishapur - part1

memorial Columns
The city center
 
 
 
 
Old Persian Autography( Pahlavy)
 
 
The city of Bishapur, seen from the air.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The school
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Anahita Temple
 
 
This temple has been built without any cement
In front of this door, you can see the opening of a small chanl
 
This square was actually a pool
The triangle-shaped top once carried two bull imposts.
Temple for the Angel of water (Anahita)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The water conduit in the temple of Anahita
The main room
meditation zone
 
 
 
Bishapur (or Bishâpûr) is an ancient city situated south of modern Faliyan, Iran on the ancient road between Persis and Elam. The road linked the Sassanid capitals Istakhr (very close to Persepolis) and Ctesiphon.
Bishapur was built near a river crossing and at the same site there is also a fort with rock-cut reservoirs and a river valley with six Sassanid rock reliefs.

According to an inscription, the city itself was founded in 266 by Shapur I (241-272), who was the second Sassanid king, restored the borders of the empire to where they had been in the Achaemenid Persian period, inflicting a triple defeat on the Romans. In his native province of Fars, he built a new capital that would measure up to his ambitions: Bishapur, Shapur's City. The city was not laid out in the circular design inherited from the Parthians, but followed the grid (Hippodamian) plan used by the Greeks. Outside the city, Shapur decorated the sides of the Bishapur River gorge with huge historical reliefs commemorating his triple triumph over Rome. One of these reliefs, in a semicircular shape, has rows of registers with files of soldiers and horses, in a deliberate imitation of the narrative scenes on the Trajan column in Rome. At Bishapur the king also inaugurated the Sassanid imagery of the king's investiture, which would be copied by his successors: the king and the god are face to face, often on horseback, and the god - usually Ahura Mazda - is holding the royal diadem out to the sovereign.

Like the bridge at Shushtar (Band-e Qaisar), it was built by Roman soldiers who had been captured after Shapur defeated the Roman emperor Valerian I in 260. The soldiers perhaps belonged to the Sixth legion Ferrata, because this unit disappears from historical sources after Valerian's defeat. It was not a completely new settlement however: archaeologists have found remains from the Parthian and Elamite ages.

Many aspects of Bishapur's architecture look Roman and do not belong to Iranian building traditions. An example is what specialists call the "Hippodamian street plan", which means that the city looks like a gridiron.

The city remained important until the Arabian invasions and the rise of Islam in the second quarter of the 7th century. There were still people living there in the 10th century. There are other historical places in Fars which is called " ANAHITA " ( the Queen of Water), which is located 15km south of the ancient city of Kazeroun. Thre are more than 15 big monuments in the rocky mountain near the Anahita Temple. There is also a nearly 7 meter high statue of ShapourI, in a cave which is called " Shapour Cave".All these historical heritage heve been damaged during the last 27 years as no attention is given in order to restore them.

The main part of the excavations took place in the royal sector, in the east of the city. A fire altar, sometimes interpreted as a shrine to Anahita, was erected near the palace. In the center there is a cross-shaped space with eight large square exedrae decorated with 64 alcoves and covered with a dome roof. To the west lies a courtyard decorated with mosaics; to the east, a square iwan used as a reception room. Its walls must have been covered with small stucco ornaments: rows of medallions, bands of foliage, and topped with merlons inherited from Achaemenid architecture. All these decorative techniques were still used after the Islamic conquest of Iran. The floor was paved with black marble slabs, with a mosaic border. Along the walls runs a narrow band featuring a series of heads and masks, in a frontal or profile view, on a white background. At the top of each alcove there was a picture of women naked under their transparent veils: courtesans, musicians, dancers, women twisting garlands, together with a few richly attired noble ladies.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bishapur


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