Takht-e Soleyman tourist attraction and Unesco world heritage site is located 45 kilometers east of Takab, amid a lush canyon with many magnificent landscapes. Other names for Takht-e Soleiman’s gorgeous and lofty settlement include Ganjak city and Azargoshnasp fire temple. In Takht-e Soleyman, an archaeological landmark structure has been erected around a sedimentary stream.
Takht-e Soleyman is a magnificent piece of royal construction, combining the Sasanian’s most important architectural features in a harmonized composition influenced by their natural surroundings. This, along with countless other reasons, make the Takht-e Soleyman worth a place on your Iran tourist destinations list.
Some claim Takht-e Soleyman to be Zoroaster’s original place of birth, and the development of the Azargoshasb fire shrine in this site as the most prominent temple honored by Iran’s Zoroastrians during the Sassanid period can be evidence of this notion. Soon, we will learn about the origin of this structure, the famous Azargoshasb fire temple, and the stream next to this temple called the Forbidden Lake.
The sacred capital of Zoroastrianism was Takht-e-Soleyman (literally “the throne of Solomon,” a fictitious name given following the Arab conquest). This UNESCO site was built in the sixth century by the Sassanid Persian Emperor which was in a great struggle with the Byzantine Empire and Christians and wished to establish a grand display for their own people.
The complex includes the main Zoroastrian shrine, which was partially reconstructed in the Ilkhanid (Mongol) period (13th century), as well as a shrine devoted to Anahita from the Sasanian period (6th and 7th centuries). The location holds significant symbolic value. The fire temple, castle, and overall plan have had a significant impact on the evolution of Islamic architecture.
Takht-e Soleyman is renowned for its incredible tales which add to the allure of this location. According to legend, when Jesus tasted the wine from the Grail at the Last Supper, he hid the cup in Takht-e Soleyman’s pond. Another legend claims that if you wish to be wealthy, you must seek the lake for old riches buried deep beneath the surface.
The Azar Goshasb Fire Temple, one of the few remaining fire temples in Iran, housed one of the Sassanid Emperors’ three imperial flames. Before ascension to the throne, Sassanian emperors would humble themselves before a vast blaze of burning fire in Zoroastrian shrines. This made Takht-e Soleyman structure so significant that it has been referred to as the Azar Goshasb Fire Temple in many documents and historical records.
It’s worth noting that three massive fires were lit for this cause. One of them was at Takht-e-Soleyman, which was devoted to the Sassanian dynasty’s soldiers. The archaic fire temples, which functioned as a setting for imperial festivities, are found in the north square-shaped tract of the ancient site of Takht-e-Soleyman.
The finding suggests that the fire in Azar Goshasb Fire Temple was continuously burning for seven centuries, and its religious significance led to a high regard for Takht-e-Soleyman as the greatest holy site of the Sassanian era. Solomon Throne was pre-Islamic Iran’s most famous religious, scholastic, and governmental complex, and its fire temple was seen as an emblem of Zoroastrianism’s supremacy.
The ancient site of Takht-e-Soleyman is chiefly known for a large lake that provides a wonderful vista of the area. The lake is at the heart of Takht-e-southern Soleyman’s square-shaped layout. Because of its unique characteristics, fascinating stories have been spun about this lake.
It was merely a spring hundreds of years before. However, sediments from the lake’s water built up a wall around the perimeter over time, resulting in the lake we see today, which is 60 meters deep. Several creeks emerge from the lake, supplying water to the neighboring countryside. Even when the Mongols arrived, they did not demolish it, preferring to admire its deep Crater Lake and surrounding volcanoes.
It’s a spring-fed lake with heavily mineralized water, which means locals can’t use this lake’s water for drinking or farming. The presence of fire temples and freshwater in this region attests to ancient Iranians’ religious belief in the sanctity of fire and water as two natural components of the earth. Many archaic texts have mentioned this lake, which is one of the famous lakes in Iran, after the Pink Lake in Shiraz.
During an assault on Iran about 624 AD, the Roman Emperor Flavius Heraclius severely damaged Solomon’s Throne. This happened under the reign of the last Sassanid king Khosrow Parviz. After the fall of the Sassanid Empire and the Persian embrace of Islam, this massive structure was unable to recover from the tremendous damage it had sustained during the battle of Iran and Rome.
Throughout the Ilkhanid Dynasty (13th century), the royal family renovated Takht-e Soleyman and utilized it as a vacation palace. The majority of the building’s renovation took place on the site’s southern part, and just a small portion of it has survived to this day. Mongol lords stopped residing in Takht-e Soleyman in the 14th century and returned to their homeland after that.
Spring and summer are the best times to explore this fascinating UNESCO site in Iran, as the weather is most favorable during these times. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want any further info or assistance in organizing a trip to the Takht-e Soleyman ancient site.