Bishapur, castle

Bishapur: important Sasanian city in Iran, founded by king Shapur I, and built by Roman POWs.

Qalah-e Dokhtar

The castle of Bishapur, situated on a rock, is well-preserved. The architect would not be surprised, because he called it Qalah-e Dokhtar, "the Virgin's Castle". Now this may be a reference to the daughter of the Sasanian king Shapur I (241-272), but it also expresses the wish that the construction remained pure and "intact" like a virgin. This type of name is not uncommon in Iran (cf. the Pol-e dokhtar, which was also built during the reign of Shapur).


There are several rock-cut reservoirs and the masonry resembles the walls of the castle that is also known as Qalah-e Dokhtar at Firuzabad. From the top, one has a great view over the Tang-e Chowgan gorge, where the rock reliefs can be found, and the city itself.