Falak-ol-Aflak Castle is Originally a third century castle on the highest point of Khorramabad with an interesting museum inside
If you plan to travel to western regions of Iran, it would be a great idea to visit this impressive castle in Khorramabad. Standing still on a rocky hill, surrounded by a river, Falak-ol-Aflak castle has always been a logistic fortress in Lorestan. Based on documentations and excavations, it was built by the time of the second Sassanid king, Shapur I (241-272) in the ancient city of Shapur Khast. You can know more about Sahpur I in Ancient City of Bishapur, a Combination of Roman and Iranian Art and also in Tang-e Chogan Gorge in Bishapur, the Valley of the Kings. After the Islamic conquest the city lost its importance and almost turned into ruins but the castle kept its position and was in use by many rulers and governors of the region in the later centuries.
The castle is believed to be called Dezh-e Shapurkhast, named after King Shapur I, but being called with different names through history, such as Khorramabad fortress and finally Falak-ol-Aflak.
Falak-ol-Aflak literally means the highest sky or the heaven of the heavens and was used since 19th century. Both archeological studies and many travelogues referring to this castle shows the existence of twelve towers around the castle we see today. These twelve towers were named after the twelve zodiacs and the castle was on a higher level than all of these fortress towers; that is why it was named Falak-ol-Aflak or the highest sky. However, some believe there was a small room on top of the biggest tower of the castle, and it was like the ninth heaven!
To reach the castle you need to walk up an inclined pathway and get inside to northern ward entrance gate. Falak-ol-Aflak castle has two court yards; the second one a bit higher than the floor level of the first yard you enter. In the first yard you can see the remaining clay water pipes inside the walls. By going up the stairs you would have access to two of the eight towers of Falak-ol-Aflak which is a great location to have a top view of Khorramabad city. There are 300 merlons and embrasures on the walls of the castles, used by archers.
The artifacts and anthropology museum is accessible via the second court yard. Along with historical artifacts showcased in the vitrines there are various scenes of local people everyday life and dresses, making it interesting for those who are curious to know more about how people used to live and might still live in this region!
Khorramabad is 500 km to the south west of Tehran. You can visit Khorramabad with one of our fully guided tours like Iran World Heritage Trail (17-Day Tour) and Khuzestan: Land of Anahita (7-Day Eco Tour) or contact Marcopolo via Incoming@iranmarcopolo.com or +98 21 88 17 08 99 for more information.