Takht-e Soleyman Most Sacred Fire Temple Sassanid Dynasty 1600 Years Ago
If you are going to enjoy UNESCO World Heritage Site of Takht-e Soleyman Fire Temple, It is better to look at it from the perspective of a Zoroastrian who is thrilled to look at a place in which the sacred fire went on burning for 700 years, before its relocation to central Iran as a result of invasions. The site has strong symbolic and spiritual significance related to fire and water which is the principal reason for its occupation from ancient times and stands as an exceptional testimony of the continuation of a cult related to fire and water over a period of some 2,500 years.
It is an outstanding archaeological site with substantial Sasanid and Ilkhanid ruins in Western Azerbaijan, between Bijaar and Shahin-dezh. Takht-e Soleyman or Fire of the Worriers is located about 30 km to the northeast of Takāb, at about 2,200 meters elevation, surrounded by mountain chains of more than 3000 meters height.
Takht-e Soleyman (aka Azargoshnasb Fire Temple) enjoys two gates in both North and South, built in two eras at which historical monuments had been constructed. You will enter the site from southern gate above which seven arch-like rough stones stand. Here, you will be thrilled to face a large verdant land when you reach the northern gate at the end of your discovery.
You can proceed towards the thermal spring-lake (21° C) with about 80 meters diameter and more than 60 meters depth on the top of the hill. The lake is like a funnel turned upside down. It is reputed for all the precious treasure that was thrown to the lake before Hercules arrived to destroy the complex. This artesian lake and a volcano are essential elements of Takht-e Soleyman. At the site’s heart is a fortified oval platform rising about 60 meters above the surrounding plain and measuring about 350 meters by 550 meters. On this platform lies this artesian lake, a Zoroastrian fire temple, a temple dedicated to Anahita (the divinity of the waters), and a Sassanid royal sanctuary. About three kilometers to the west of Takht-e Soleyman is an ancient volcano, Zendan-e Soleyman, which rises about 100 meters above its surroundings. At its summit is the remains of shrines and temples dating from the first millennium BC.
Around the lake, strong plinths of a magnificent arcade ornamented by glazed mosaics exists. Continue to the site through the wooden-floored route, developed for tourists not to get lost in 120,000 m2, you will see the remains of a splendid Ivan (façade) which is about 20 meters high at its tallest section which is remained intact. The complex is divided to two distinct parts, eastern and western parts for divine and mundane affairs respectively as the east is sacred in Zoroastrianism.
Deeper inside the sacred fire temple lies the remaining parts of a prototype dome by four squinches which in Islamic period helped architects imitate Sassanid counterparts after some centuries.
Azargoshnasb fire temple reminds visitors of a period in Iran’s history with Ahura Mazda, The one God, at the centre of every issue and the first time to have kings as the religious authority as well. Visiting Takht-e Soleyman with a professional guide of Marcopolo is a blessing on Iranian history before Islam, although the site itself has some archaeologists who are in charge of the museum inside.