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Takht e Soleyman -Part 2, Azerbaijan(Azargoshanasb FireTemple)

Balcony of Khosro
Azargoshanasb Fire Temple
Azargoshanasb Fire Temple
Azargoshanasb Fire Temple
Azargoshanasb Fire Temple
Azargoshanasb Fire Temple
Azargoshanasb Fire Temple
Anahita Temple
Anahita Temple
Water ducts
Dedicated to The angel of water
My friend,He is a Kurd too
He mentioned to the archeologist's remains
A Stoned Dragon(Igneous rocks)
Brief Description
The archaeological site of Takht-e Soleyman, in north-western Iran, is situated in a valley set in a volcanic mountain region. The site includes the principal Zoroastrian sanctuary partly rebuilt in the Ilkhanid (Mongol) period (13th century) as well as a temple of the Sasanian period (6th and 7th centuries) dedicated to Anahita. The site has important symbolic significance. The designs of the fire temple, the palace and the general layout have strongly influenced the development of Islamic architecture.

Justification for Inscription

Criterion i:
Takht-e Soleyman is an outstanding ensemble of royal architecture, joining the principal architectural elements created by the Sasanians in a harmonious composition inspired by their natural context.

Criterion ii:
The composition and the architectural elements created by the Sasanians at Takht-e Soleyman have had strong influence not only in the development of religious architecture in the Islamic period, but also in other cultures.

Criterion iii:
The ensemble of Takht-e Soleyman is an exceptional testimony of the continuation of cult related to fire and water over a period of some two and half millennia. The archaeological heritage of the site is further enriched by the Sasanian town, which is still to be excavated.

Criterion iv:
Takht-e Soleyman represents an outstanding example of Zoroastrian sanctuary, integrated with Sasanian palatial architecture within a composition, which can be seen as a prototype.

Criterion vi:
As the principal Zoroastrian sanctuary, Takht-e Soleyman is the foremost site associated with one of the early monotheistic religions of the world. The site has many important symbolic relationships, being also a testimony of the association of the ancient beliefs, much earlier than the Zoroastrianism, as well as in its association with significant biblical figures and legends
The Gushnasp fire at Shiz (and the Sovar fire at Tus)

There was a defunct fire-temple at Takht-i Suleiman (the Throne of Solomon) a ruined city near Mount Zindan, 'Solomon's Dungeon.' These ruins are about ninety miles from Lake Urumiah. Mount Zindan itself is a volcano, with a crater at the peak and a long volcanic ridge extending two or three miles from the peak. The volcano was extinct, but blasts of fetid air apparently steamed from the ground of this ridge, and there were a score of tiny warm springs bubbling up from miniature craters. Professor Jackson and his party rode up the ridge to the volcanic cone, which was called Solomon's Prison Height; Jackson climbed right up to the summit (about 45 feet above the plain) and tossed a stone into the funnel of the crater. The rim of the crater itself was about 300 feet in circumference. Just north of Mount Zindan is the mountain Takht-i Bilkis, 'Throne of the Queen of Sheba'; on its summit, legends say, King Solomon built a summer palace for his beloved. To the east are lower ridges, but they form a huge cauldron rimming the plain, from which rises a low hill crowned with the fortified ruins of Takht-i Suleiman.
From Professor Jackson's account, the ruined city itself was surrounded by massive ramparts, between thirty and forty feet high; there were once four huge gateways roughly aligned to the cardinal points. The walls enclosed an oblong shape about three-quarters of a mile around. Inside the walls were a number of buildings, including the abandoned fire-temple.
This fire-temple was called a bath-house by the locals, who know (of course) very little about fire-temples. It was an arched and vaulted building with a dome, partly sunk below the ground, and made from bricks nearly a foot square (as Professor Jackson found true of other ruined fire-temples he examined). There were two arched portals, through which one descended to the vaulted brick chamber below; the walls were four or five feet thick; inside the chamber were arched wall-recesses. The interior had the air of a place built for the preservation of precious treasure.
In Professor Jackson's opinion, these ruins were the ancient city of Shiz (as named by Arab writers) and also the Gazna or Ganzah of the Persians, the Gazaka or Canzaca of classical writers and the city of Ganjak named in the Pahlavi texts. If the city was Shiz, then the fire-temple housed the holy flame named Adhargushnasp or Gushnasp. Shiz was described as containing within its walls a lake which calcified all objects that were thrown into it; Jackson describes such a lake inside the walls of Takht-i Suleiman.
Shiz was also supposedly the birthplace of Zarathustra.
Now, Shiz was described circa AD 1220 by the geographer Yakut. At this time, the fire-temple was still in use. Yakut wrote of the city: "Shiz, a district of Azarbaijan. Its name is a form of Chis, out of which the Arabs have made Shiz. It is said that Zaradusht, the prophet of the Fire-Worshippers, came from there ... Here is what Mis'ar ibn Muhalhal says about Shiz: '... this town is situated between Maraghah, Zanjan, Shahrzur, and Dinavar, in the midst of mountains containing mines of gold, quicksilver, lead, silver, orpiment, and amethysts ... A wall encloses the city, and within its circuit is a pool whose bottom cannot be sounded. I dropped a line in it more than fourteen thousand cubits, but the lead did not find any resting-place and remain steady. The area of the lake is about one quarter of an acre. Earth soaked with water form it immediately becomes hard stone. Seven streams of water flow from the lake, each of which turns a mill before flowing out under the wall. At Shiz there is also a large fire-temple, which is held in great veneration. From it are lighted the fires of the Magians from the east to the west. On top of the dome there is a silver crescent which is a talisman. Many rulers have tried to remove it, but have not succeeded. One of the extraordinary things connected with the temple is, that a fire has been kept burning in it for seven hundred years without any ashes having been found; nor has the fire gone out for a single hour. ... Whenever an enemy advances to take the city and plants his ballista against its walls, the stone from the machines falls into the pool which we have mentioned; and if he move the ballista back, even as far as one cubit, the stone falls outside the wall ...' ... Someone else has related that in Shiz there is the fire of Adharakhsh, a temple honored of the Magians. It was customary for their kings, when they ascended the throne, to make a pilgrimage thither on foot. The people of Maraghah and of this neighborhood call this place Gazna; but Allah knows best."
The city of Shiz was supposedly built by the legendary Persian king Kei Khosru. Various Arab and Persian geographers all mention the city and its fire-temple, Adharjushnas. Al-Hamadhani (writing about AD 910) adds that the fire of Adharjushnas or Adhargushnasp belonged to Kei Khosru and was originally located elsewhere in Azarbaijan, but was removed to Shiz.
One Masudi (died AD 951) wrote an account of various fire-temples titled Meadows of Gold. He mentions Shiz: "A fourth fire-temple is found in the country of Shiz and Arran; it was originally consecrated to those idols which Anushirvan destroyed. Others say that Annushirvan, having found in this temple an altar on which the sacred fire was burning, transported it to a place called al-Birkah ('the basin' near Shiraz). The <ancient Keianian> king Kei Khosru built a temple which was known under the name of Kusujah <ie Ganjah>.
The fire itself, Gushnasp or Ataro-gushnasp, was the subject of legends. It was regarded as a holy aura or numinous being: it was the triumphant fire Ataro-gushnasp, which aided Kei Koshru while he was engaged in putting down idol-worship around Lake Chechast; according to Zoroastrian tradition this occurred about 800 BC. The holy fire settled on the mane of Kei Koshru's horse and drove away all darkness and gloom, so that the idol-temples could be destroyed. In the same locale as the extirpated idol-temples, Gushnasp was then established at an appointed shrine on Asnavand mountain , near Lake Chechast from which blew warm winds which defeated demons.
Also established near Lake Chechast was a second fire, Sovar, near a place called Tus.
Finally, one of the Byzantine church fathers, Georgius Cedrenus, describes the destruction of Shiz circa AD 1100, by the emperor Heraclius during his war against the later Sasanian king Khosru Parviz (King Chosres): "The Emperor Heraclius took possession of the city of Gazaca, in which was the temple and the treasures of Croesus, king of Lydia, and the imposture of the burning coals. On entering the city he found the abominable image of Khosru, an effigy of the king seated under the vaulted roof of the palace as though in the heavens, and around it the sun, moon, and stars, to which he did homage with superstitious awe, as if to gods, and he had represented angles bearing sceptres and ministering unto him. And the impious man had arranged by cunning devices to have drops falling from above, like rain, and sounds resembling roaring thunder to peal forth. All these things Heraclius consumed with fire, and burned both the Temple of Fire and the entire city."

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