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Firuzabad: Castle


The castle seen from the north. Photo Marco Prins.
The castle seen from the north
Firuzabad: Sasanian city in Persis.
  
City Palace Castle Relief 1 Relief 2

Today, the castle north of Firuzabad is called
Qalah-e Dokhtar means "castle of the daughter", after a daughter of its builder, the Sasanian king Ardašir I (224-241). However, the word dokhtar also expresses the wish that the construction remains pure and "intact" like a virgin.

It is built on a steep rock near a river and contains barracks and a palace-like mansion. After climbing stairs in the southwest of the castle, near the river, one reaches a big gate with a staircase to the upper storey. To the west is a courtyard surrounded by rooms, and finally, in the eastern part of the castle, one reaches the representative rooms of the king, which consists of a large open hall (iwan) and a dome that has survived to the present day.
Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
Friday Mosque of Yazd. Photo Jona Lendering.
Friday Mosque of Yazd

The general plan - gate, courtyard surrounded by rooms, iwan, dome - is also typical of Iranian mosques, which is not entirely coincidental, because from the eleventh century on, Iranian architects were looking for a national design. They may well have been looking at places like the Qalah-e Dokhtar, and it may well be that the castle of Ardašir I looked a bit like for example, the medieval Friday Mosque of Yazd.

A satellite photo of the castle can be seen here.

The entrance of Qalah-e Dokhtar. Photo Jona Lendering. Qalah-e Dokhtar. Photo Jona Lendering. The court of Qalah-e Dokhtar. Photo Jona Lendering. The court of Qalah-e Dokhtar. Photo Jona Lendering.
The entrance View from the north
Court Court, from the dome

City Palace Castle Relief 1 Relief 2
Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2005
Revision: 11 April 2009
Livius.Org Anatolia Carthage Egypt Germ. Inf. Greece Judaea Mesopotamia Persia Rome Other