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Tuesday, 14-Nov-2006 19:04 Email | Share | Bookmark
Bandar e Gaz (Gaz Traditional port) Golestan Province

early in the morning and we left behshahr
a historical building
To bandar e Gaz

Golestān (Persian: گلستان) is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. It is in the north-east of the country, south of the Caspian Sea. Its capital is Gorgan.
It was split off from the province of Mazandaran in 1997. Present-day Gorgan was called Esteraba or Astarabad until 1937.
It has a population of 1.7 million (2005) and an area of 20,380 km². The major townships of the province are: Bandar Turkaman, Bandar Gaz, Ali Abad, Kord Kooy, Gorgan, Gonbad Kavoos, and Minoo Dasht.
Golestan enjoys mild weather and a temprate climate most of the year. Geographically, it is divided into two sections, the plains and the mountains of the Alborz range. In the eastern Alborz section, the direction of mountains faces northeast and gradually decreases in height. The highest point of the province is Shavar, at 3,945m. in elevation.

Human settlements in this area date back to 1000 BCE. Evidence of the ancient city of Jorjan can still be seen near the current city of Gorgan. This was an important city of Persia, located on the Silk Road.
The Turkaman minority reside in the north of the province, particularly in the cities of Gonbad and Bandar Turkaman. Other minority communities such as Baluch, Turks, Afghans, and Armenians also reside in this area, and have preserved their traditions and rituals
The Buwayhid and Ziyarid dynasties of Persia were from this region. They were known for the revival of pre-Islamic Persian culture. For example, Buwayhid leaders entitled themselves as Shâhanshâh (شاهنشاه), literally king of kings, a term used by Sassanid rulers.

The world's tallest brick tower stands in this province. It is the famous Gonbad-e Qabus, built by a famous Amir of this region


Old Persian VARKANA ("Wolf's Land"), ancient region located southeast of the Caspian Sea. Its capital was Zadracarta (Astarâbâd, modern Gorgân), and it formed part of the Median, Achaemenian (559-330 BC), Seleucid, and Parthian (247 B.C.-224 A.D.) empires, either as an independent province or joined with Parthia. In the list of Persian satrapies given by the Greek historian Herodotus, the Paricanians may have been the Hyrcanians.
Under the same name of Gorgân, two cities of old Gorgân (Jorjân) and Astarâbâd are considered. In 9th AC, the city of Gorgân had its own importance and glory especially in the region of Qâbus Ebne Wošmgir. But it graduaitly lost its importance and finally was destroyed due to Mongols attack. Before Islam (716 A.D.) Gorgân was also one of the important states of Iran that had relative independence most of the time. But in some period has been a part of Parthian (247 B.C.-224 A.D.) territory and greater Xorâsân.
The town, in existence since Achaemenian (559-330 BC) times, long suffered from inroads of the Turkmen tribes who occupied the plain north of the Siâh âb River and was subjected to incessant Qâjâr-Turkmen tribal conflicts in northen Iran.
This city was famous as Astarâbâd till late Qâjâr dynasty (1794-1925), and then it was called Gorgân.In the reign of Nâder Šâh (1688-1747), a wall was constructed around the city to protect it against the attacks of Turkman tribes. After Qâjâr dynasty and in the last decades it urbanized and developed rapidly. (Hassanzadeh, 2000)

The surrounding area, the ancient Hyrcania, was captured by the Arabs(716 A.D.) and conquered by the Mongols(13th cent.). Aqâ Mohamad Xân(1742-97), the founder of the Qâjâr dynasty, was born there, and the town flourished (c.1800) with the rise of the dynasty.

Gorgân Defense Wall
Gorgân's Defense Wall(155 km long and 6 to10 m wide) is one of the most outstanding and gigantic architectural monuments in "Dašte Gorgân & Gonbad" Steppes (Gorgân Plain) history.
This wall which is the largest defensive wall in the world after the Great Wall of China, starts from the Caspian coast, circles north of Gonbade Kâvous, continues towards northwest and vanishes behind Piškamar Mountains. See map .
A logistical archeological survey was conducted regarding the wall in 1999 due to problems in development projects specially during construction of the Golestân Dam, which irrigates all the areas covered by the wall.
At the point of the connection of the wall and the drainage canal from the dam, architects discovered the remains of the above wall.
At parts, this wall is 6 m wide and in other parts the width is 10 m, which proves that the thickness of the wall differs in various regions, according to the natural features and soil configuration.
Castles have been built at different distances. The longest distance between castles is 50 km and the shortest is 10 km.The 40 identified castles vary in dimension and shape but the majority are square fortresses.
Due to many difficulties in development and agricultural projects, archaeologists have been assigned to mark the boundary of the historical find by laying cement blocks.
The Gorgân Wall has been named Alexander Dam, Anuširvân Dam, Firuz Dam and Qazal Al'an in various historical texts.
Dr. Kiani who led the archeological team in 1971 believes that the wall was built during the Parthian Dynasty simultaneously with the construction of the Great Wall of China and it was restored during the Sassanid era (3-7th c. A.D.).

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