Takht- Suleiman

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The ruin of the historical fortress Takht- Suleiman is, archaeologically speaking, one of the most interesting places in Iran, not in the least because Takht- Sulieman is believed to be the birthplace of Zoroaster. However (as Khodadad Rezakhani informed us), some believe Zoroaster to be born in Azerbaijan, but the overwhelming majority believe, based on good reasons, that he was a native of northeastern Iran, somewhere in Transoxiana and northern Afghanistan.

Anyway, whether Zoroaster was born here or not, the place is interesting enough by itself. Yet this ancient fortress lies in a remote area of the country, so the Throne of Solomon doesn't get many visitors. It is a fascinating experience to walk between the remains of the many different dynasties who inhabited the fortress over such a long period of time.

The oldest part, the Azargashab firetempel, dates from 500 BC. Until 1500 AD the Parthians, the Sassanians and the Moghuls have been adding a lot more. The large wall around the complex and its 38 defensive towers were built in the third Century AD. Most of the towers have eroded to the same height as the wall.

In the middle of the fortress there is a little lake. Although small in size, this lake is a significant water storage. It is a lot deeper than it looks: 120 meters.

This little lake is 120 meter deep

The entrance

Sassanian Palace

Entrance to the fire temple

After visiting Takht- Suleiman our women were invited for tea by the local women from the nearby village. The men wanted to climb the crater of Zendan- Suleiman (Solomon's Prison). 

This crater, not volcanic but the remains of some kind of geiser, is located about 2 kms south of the fortress. It should reward us with a fantastic view over the countryside, the fortress and the village, so we decided to give it a try.

The first part is easy (and can be done by bus)

The first part of the climb is easy, but it becomes more and more difficult when you get closer to the top. The last few meters are really hard.

Of course we had to look in the crater. It is 30 meter deep and still smells of sulphur. We can imagine they used this crater as a prison. When you're inside you can't possible get out without climbing gear.

The last few meters are very hard

The inside of the crater

The last one to reach the top was Sherwin, our Iranian guide. By that time is was too dark to see the magnificent views. But who cares, when you can watch a sunset like this one.

When it's almost completely dark, we climb down again to see that our ladies have arrived and Ali is waiting for us with a nice cup of tea.

Sunset seen from the crater

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