Sarvestan: town in eastern Fars, site of a small Sasanian palace.

Approaching the palace from the southeast

The Sarvestan Palace was built by the Sasanian king Bahram V (r.420-438), and dominates an immense, empty plain. The name "palace" is a bit misleading, because the monument's function is not really understood. It may in fact have been a hunting lodge or even a sanctuary. The problem is complicated by the fact that there appears to have been a small building, just north of the palace; its function is unknown.

A visitor who would have arrived from the south, would have seen three iwans. After entering the central one, he would have reached a large square hall under a large dome, made of baked brick. After this, a visitor would have found himself on a rectangular courtyard, surrounded by the residential quarters. The building reminds one of the the Qalah-e Dokhtar and the palace of ArdaĊĦir, both near Firuzabad; the difference is that the Sarvestan palace is open to all sides. The building, made of stone and mortar, must have had fine decorations, which partly survive.

Getting there

Sarvestan, axonometric drawing

Sarvestan town is about eighty kilometers east of Shiraz; the palace itself lies another ten kilometer beyond the town of Sarvestan. A taxi will bring you there; from Shiraz, it will take about an hour and a half.

This page was created in 2010; last modified on 14 August 2020.